700 Requins dans la Nuit (2018)

Laurent Ballesta and his team of divers use tracking technology and sophisticated camera techniques to investigate a pack of 700 Grey Sharks, that hunt a Grouper spawning season in the Fakarava Atoll, near French Polynesia.
  • 6.9 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2019-07-04 Added:
  • Laurent Ballesta, Emilie Dumond, Gil Kebaïli, Writer:
  • Luc Marescot, Director:
  • Producer:
7 / 10

Jaw ready for this ?

Another rejig on Disney Plus has added some of their Natural Geographic Documentaries into the film section, so, by my rules of alphabetically going through all of them I watched "700 Sharks", a documentary about the brave and noble sharks that held fast against the invading Persian army. . . just kidding.

The Fakarava Atoll, in French Polynesia, is home to a reef that is the location of a massive Grouper fish spawning season. Though conditions are perfect for reproduction, the gathering has attracted predators including one of the largest packs of Grey sharks on record, number around 700. Laurent Ballesta and his team of divers use sophisticated camera techniques to record the frenzied attack of the Sharks, but they also use tracking technology and discover interesting insights into just how they work together to isolate and capture their prey.

The version of the documentary on Disney Plus at the moment is an abridged 45-minute version, which is about half of the length of the full documentary. I joked about having been forced to watch it due to my "rules" in the first paragraph, but honestly, I did actually find the documentary fascinating. I've always thought of sharks as isolated hunters, but really that impression comes from fictional films and from seeing them in aquariums - where they're isolated often because they're the only shark in the tank. Having laid out their goals early and explained what they are doing throughout, the documentary explains that the sharks work in pairs or more, to surround the Groupers and block their escape routes. They then provide footage of this in action, often using a version of the Matrix-style surround camera so they can pause footage, rotate to a different angle and continue on.

Though it's a little disappointing that the other half of the film as intended isn't there on Disney Plus, the interesting investigation is completed enough for us to get the idea and the graphic and haunting visuals will live long in the memory.