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.
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