Jan Kounen & Anne Paris
France, 52 min
The sperm whale suddenly appears a few centimetres away from Leina Sato, while the free diver is swimming alone in the waters of Mauritius. The animal, deprived of central vision, cannot see her from so close, but it remains immobile, perhaps sensing the presence of the baby she is carrying. Leina is used to rubbing shoulders with cetaceans since her adolescence. Born in Tokyo, raised in Paris, she left to settle in Hawaii in order to treat a depression. Then she met her future companion, Jean-Marie Ghislain, a specialist in underwater photography. When she found out that she was expecting his baby, Leina Sato wanted to have her pregnancy accom- panied by her “adopted family”... Over four months, Jan Kounen and Anne Paris filmed the diver’s exceptional contacts with different types of whales and dolphins, particularly in French Polynesia and Hawaii. With its sumptuous images shot under the sea, The Journey is a stupefying documentary, which answers, in a very singular manner, a universal question: how do you welcome a child into this world in the best possible way?