The Big Blue

I first saw this movie in high school shortly after it came out on video. It is a French film (Le Grande Bleu) that totally bombed in the United States. In fact, I was planning on seeing it at the theater but it came and went so quickly that I did not have the chance.

The film is about the real world rivalry between free divers Enzo Maiorca and Jacques Mayol. Freediving is the extreme sport of diving as deep as possible and returning to the surface on one breath. In the movie they changed Enzo’s last name to Molinari but Mayol is Mayol. I was fascinated by this sport back then and still am to some extent. My friend Chris Dixon and I used to practice holding our breath underwater in the Four Seasons pool back home. Dixon is the only person I’ve ever met who could hold his breath over 3 minutes. I only reached a max of about 2 minutes 10 seconds. Of course, this was back when we were both in excellent shape, Dixon more so from long hours running for cross country.

I looked up the current world records in the sport and almost all of them are done with breath hold dives of 2:30 to 3:20. I wonder if Dixon knows that he can hold his breath long enough to make an attempt on the world record…