Sharkwise: Cannes Review

Captivating docudrama of an adventurer’s quest to dangle before a white-tailed shark.

Filmmaker Lieven Debrauwer presents a captivating underwater world while following daredevil adventurer Marc Sluszny's shark encounters.

CANNES -- Daredevil adventurer Marc Sluszny is a guy who thinks outside the cage. It’s his obsessive dream to confront a white-tailed shark one-on-one, unprotected in the ocean without a protective apparatus. Is this guy nuts? That’s my vote but others may be inspired by his steely resolve to accomplish his life’s dream.

A stirring docudrama on the underworld of sharks, Sharkwise is both a character study and a picturesque glimpse into the oceans’ depths. It would be a welcome offering to cable networks.

Set off the coasts of Egypt, Mozambique and South Africa, the enthralling docudrama is a visual delight. During Sluszny’s dives beneath the sea, he and other cameramen capture the stirring beauty of colorful and intriguing species.

Indeed, filmmaker Lieven Debrauwer presents a captivating underwater world. All the while, the sonorous voice-over of Martin Sheen intones ecological messages: 60 million sharks are killed a year for varied foodstuffs and could be an endangered species.

In this post-Jaws world, that may not conjure up a lot of sympathy, but, unarguably, the narrative presents a more full-bodied portrait of sharks: They do not seek out people to attack. However, they do respond to certain sensory stimuli and that, of course, includes people flapping around in their proximity.  

With Sluszny’s fearless quest to put him in deadly harm’s way as the story bait, Sharkwise treads into stunning oceanic and character depths.

Venue: Cannes Film Festival, Market
Production company: Horizon Motion Pictures
Cast: Marc Sluszny, Martin Sheen (narrator)
Director: Lieven Debrauwer
Producer: Frank De Wutf
Editor: Jan Goossen
No rating, 80 minutes

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