For as long as there are crocodiles

A documentary by Jean QUEYRAT

Festival Int’l du Film Maritime et d’Exploration (Toulon)  – Prix de la Cinémathèque & Prix des collèges, Octobre 2003

In the two hundred million years since the crocodile first appeared on Earth, it has never ceased to fascinate and to frighten. Worshipped as a god or feared as a demon, it has inspired some of man’s most extraordinary stories, legends and beliefs. In ancient Egypt, one of the most powerful divinities was Sobek, the crocodile god. Still today, for certain peoples in Mali, Chad and Burkina, this reptile is sacred.

For western societies however, the crocodile is first and foremost a symbol of terror. Massacred for his skin, he was threatened with extinction in the 1950s. Fortunately, certain populations quickly began to realize the key role the crocodile played in their own habitats. After a period of carnage came an era of overprotection. Reserves were created throughout the world. In the French city of Pierrelatte, visitors tremble, in total safety, at the five hundred specimens housed in the most important crocodile farm in Europe. Legends surrounding the crocodile have thus been revived…all the way to Asia, in Papua, New Guinea and in Australia’s aborigene tribes. This unique reptile will continue to haunt our dreams and feed our imaginations for as long as man exists… and for as long as there are crocodiles.