The Deepest Breath

#Review: The Deepest Breath

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Coming out on Netflix is The Deepest Breath. This is a documentary that follows Italian freediver Alessia Zecchini as she tries to become the world’s best freediver. The film documents her beginnings, her impressive career and her fanatical love of the extreme sport.

If like me you don’t know what freediving is you will get an intense and thorough crash course in the extreme sport. I will say now, it is not for the faint of heart. I winced, teared up and was left, ironically, breathless numerous times throughout the course of this film. The film is also quite nerve-wracking. There are some audiences I believe will see this film as a low-key horror because the sport itself is phenomenally dangerous. There was a shot in the film, at the beginning of the film that still is stuck in my head, it was that powerful.

It comes down to director Laura McGann’s skill behind the camera. She never shies away from the reality of this extreme sport but she also revels in its beauty. She knows that this is an alluring experience and seeing the sport on the big screen is deeply moving.

The Deepest Breath – They’re swimming but they look like they’re soaring into the abyss

Easily the most impressive part of the film is the cinematography. Watching the freedivers seemingly fly through this abyss is phenomenal. Couple this beautiful imagery with the archive footage and the film tells an emotional story about these people and the goals and dreams they have. From Alessia’s hungry and driven story to Stephen Keenan’s story of trying to find his way in life and falling into freediving, there are fascinating people within this film.

The film focuses on an intimate group of people and tells an emotionally charged tale. Though the stakes are usually quite personal it doesn’t stop them from being earth-shattering when you see the toll this sport can take on those who enter its particular arena.

The biggest recommendation I can give to you when you watch The Deepest Breath is not to look anything up about it. I went in blind and when I came out I was emotionally drained. It was a genuinely powerful story about Alessia and Stephen and the people they touched in their respective careers.

It’s fascinating, as I look back on The Deepest Breath, I remember I had seen a big-budget blockbuster right before it and honestly, if I had to choose between the two to watch again, I’d choose this.

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