Scientists attempt to communicate with humpback whales in this Apple TV + documentary.
"Fathom", a documentary focused on the curiosity of Drew Xanthopoulos, is fascinated by two types of waves. It opens with a small boat on a breathtaking view of the water, then moves on to a computer analysis of the visual patterns of the whale songs that two scientists left their lives behind to record.
On the fringes of Alaska, Dr. Michelle Fournet wants to communicate with humpback whales - not just to listen, but to converse - using a machine from the lecture of growls, jumps and punches that it took him a decade to develop. (A first attempt looked like the whale Minnie Riperton.) Nine thousand miles to the south, Dr. Ellen Garland follows the spread of whale tune from Australia to French Polynesia, testing her hypothesis that whales have a common culture similar to that of humans. the grip of a parasitic pop hit.
As the title suggests, Xanthopoulos is intrigued by the lengths - or, in this case, the depths - that one person will go to understand another species. Sometimes the documentary feels like science fiction without the fiction. Trade whales for aliens and these two doctors beaming with the thrill of discovery could double up for Jodie Foster in "Contact " or Amy Adams in "Arrival ".
As the film is more focused on the quest itself than its conclusions, the second half rotates to apply the doctors' connection theories to assistants who have agreed to follow them out of the network. In her own research, Dr Garland teaches a doctoral student a wire-wrapping technique passed down by four generations of biologists, while Dr Fournet feels more adrift in a city than she does at sea .
"I have to withdraw from society and live in a world that is dominated by animals " says Dr Fournet. "And it doesn't look like a sacrifice. It 's like a liberation. " Of course, humanity has also evolved into a social beast, but whales are over 40 million years old. 'advance.
Not rated. Duration: 1h26. In theaters and on Apple TV + .