2009 • 15' • French, English, Portuguese & German
Director(s): Gil Kébaïli • Producer(s): Grand Angle Productions • Coproducer(s): France Télévisions • Format(s): HD
Exploration of the oceans has always excited the imagination. In the 15th century they spoke of the “sea of shadows” and charts were adorned with monsters. Driven by the trade in spices and other valuable good, and under the cloak of evangelisation, the world got rich from the new lands. The sea monsters disappeared from the charts and the whales were hunted. Portugal, Spain, Holland and soon England all got rich in turn. And in the 18th century, France slips quietly into this international context, led by the “enlightened ones”.
Illuminated by science and philosophy, the century posed a fundamental question: who would be master of that famous Austral continent that was said to balance the Earth? Does it really exist?
And under the pen of a certain Louis Antoine de Bougainville, the West is plunged into the sweet atmosphere of an island that has never ceased to inspire dreams: Tahiti. The Pacific is rediscovered two centuries after it was crossed by Quiros and Mendana in 1567 and 1595. No one had been able to find it before Wallis… an Englishman. That was a few months before Bougainville, the Frenchman.