2009 • 14' • French, English, Portuguese & German
Director(s): Gil Kébaïli • Producer(s): Grand Angle Productions • Coproducer(s): France Télévisions • Format(s): HD
It’s 1782 and, aboard the Astrée, a young ship’s captain named Jean-Francois de Galaup, Comte de Lapérouse, is leading an expedition in the Hudson Bay. This episode, which was to have no resounding strategic importance, was nevertheless to constitute a formative episode in the life of Lapérouse. For his navigational skills, his sense of humanity and his military intelligence were to mark minds, not only in France, but in Great Britain… His destiny was underway.
Louis XVI, passionate about geography and navigation, decides to entrust Lapérouse with the first great French scientific campaign on a global scale. The objective will be to complement and complete the work of the great Captain Cook.
Lapérouse sails from Brest on August 1 1785 aboard the Boussole, accompanied by the Astrolabe for a voyage that will last two and a half years. On board are naturalists, astrologers, cartographers and draughtsmen who will take the measure of this new world.
Navigational tools are revolutionary (clocks and watches, compass, etc.). The maps of the world are transformed. Latitudes and longitudes appear, allowing the precise positioning of the various continents and their hosts of islands. On Lapérouse’s world map feature New Zealand, Australia, the Torres Strait, Hawaii, the Bering Strait…
The first works produced by the expedition are entrusted to Barthélemy de Lesseps. After a voyage of more than 16,000 km, the later will finally hand the documents to Louis XVI.
After another layover in Botany Bay, Australia, on January 26 1788, the Boussole and the Astrolabe will show no further signs of life…