Sally Aitken
Playing with sharks
Part of
Playing with sharks

Playing with sharks

Sally Aitken

2021
90 min.
Australia
English
Subtitles: Catalan and Spanish

The extraordinary life of Valerie Taylor, a diving pioneer, shark lover, expert photographer and tireless fighter for marine conservation.

Datasheet

Show
Direction
Sally Aitken
Executive Production
Wildbear, Tdog, Madman Entertainment
Distribution
DogWoof
Production
Bettina Dalton, Matthew M. North
Editor
Adrian Rostirolla
Cinematografía
Ron Taylor
Synopsis

Valerie Taylor’s story questions all sorts of stereotypes about women’s roles and the limits of humans. Fascinated by sharks, Taylor opened up new avenues for underwater exploration and even filmed real-life action scenes for Spielberg's film Jaws. She is currently an octogenarian who keeps her youthful spark alive and, unbelievably, continues to dive with her iconic fuchsia wetsuit.

The extraordinary archival material shows us a lush seabed that has been depleted by human voracity. The colors of the underwater landscape from decades ago shine like never before with 16mm analogue film. The beauty of the images reveals a mysterious world in which sharks are not fierce enemies but intelligent living beings. Taylor's courageous work breaks down prejudices and misunderstandings about the ocean's main predator. Passionate, endearing and honest, Valerie Taylor gives us a lesson in humility about the position of the human species within the planet’s enormous ecological diversity.

DocsBarcelona Panorama Section, supported by ARTE

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About the direction
Sally Aitken

Sally Aitken

Director

Sally Aitken is an Emmy nominated director and writer, and a Show Runner of multiple international s...

DocsBarcelona Trajectory

2021
DocsBarcelona Festival · Panorama
Edició 2021

Awards and festivals

Sundance
United States, 2021
CPH:DOX
Denmark, 2021
BAFICI
Argentina, 2021
Sally Aitken
Playing with sharks
Watch the trailer
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Reviews

An enjoyable if by-the-numbers breeze through the remarkable life of Valerie Taylor, an ardent pioneer of marine wildlife conservation.

— Jessica Kiang · Variety

The film sounds an urgent call for conservation and states a truth: humans are the real apex predators.

— Peter Howell · Toronto Star

In addition to the disarming personality of her subject, seasoned Australian TV director Aitken's invigorating dive into the deep is distinguished by the sheer beauty of its archival material.

— David Rooney · Hollywood Reporter

A remarkable environmentalist documentary that not only stands as a testament to a remarkable woman, but will make you see sharks in a totally different light.

— Robert Daniels · RogerEbert.com
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