“If you follow the rules, it’s a very beautiful and safe sport where you can learn a lot about yourself”: Freediver instructor Kristof Coenen on The Deepest Breath
This beautifully shot, documentary-style film by Laura McGann is a mesmerising ode to the art of freediving – underwater diving that relies on the individual holding their breath alone until they resurface, with no other apparatus, such as what a scuba diver might use. The sport is extreme and comes with its own dangers: participants can suffer from life-threatening blackouts and irreversible lung damage. But, as McGann brings the reality of this sport to the screen, audiences are also treated to an array of stunning underwater locations and a captivating music score from award-winning British composer Naita Desai.
The narrative follows Italian freediver Alessia Zeccini from the start of her career as a teenager through to being a record-setting champion. McGann uses original film clips from competitions, mesmerising footage of dives and interviews with the families to tell her story. After Zeccini meets expert safety diver Stephen Keenan, the two form an allegiance and push to win the world record. Unfortunately, as they tackle the Arch (located near Dahab on the coast of the Red Sea), tragedy strikes and the course of their intertwined lives are changed forever.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of hearing from the actor and freediver instructor Kristof Coenan who spoke to us about working as a safety diver and trainer, what is was like to work alongside Stephen and the moment he heard about the tragic events that unfolded. He also spoke about the effects this sport can have on the body and what draws people to it nonetheless.
The Deepest Breath is released in select UK cinemas on 14th July and on Netflix on 19th July 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for The Deepest Breath here: