In light of the unexpected and tragic loss of Robin Williams, one of my favorite actors & comedians of all time, I decided that as a homage to his legacy, instead of linking to some memorable scene taken from one of his films –and there’s SO much to choose from– I would instead honor his passing by sharing Robin’s participation in the TV documentary series In the Wild. 20-year-old documentary
The series –which seems to have gone completely off the Internet’s radar, since there’s barely any online info of it available– featured several movie celebrities playing the Attenborough-like role of naturalist presenter, in a 50-minute documentary based on their favorite animal. Julia Roberts went to the jungles of Sumatra & Borneo to film orangutans, Anthony Hopkins picked lions, the late Bob Hoskins went with tigers, and Robin –unsurprisingly– chose dolphins.
The other reason I wanted to post this clip in the Grail, it’s because it occurred to me how another reason Robin might have felt identified with the so-called ‘clowns of the sea’, aside from their playful & energetic nature, is because when we humans go to marine parks to see dolphins perform on a show, we see their big serrated ‘smiles’ and assume they are enjoying themselves & having a jolly good time.
What we don’t realize is that what we mistakenly interpret as a smile is just the way the dolphin’s jaw is shaped; if we weren’t so focused in our own search for entertainment, we might pay more attention to the dolphins’ eyes, which might reveal the inner sadness caused by their deep isolation, and the silent despair of a captive creature which was meant to live free.
On August 11th, Robin Williams sought a way out of its inner imprisonment; and while this should NOT be interpreted as a condoning or condemning of his decision, which was obviously the result of a long history of depression, I sincerely wish that wherever he is now, he has managed to find the liberty he so rightly deserved.
Rest in peace, O’Captain my Captain.