This nearly two-hour-long original documentary, written and directed by Irish filmmaker Laura McGann, has been generating buzz since it was featured on a recent episode of Celebrity Gogglebox on Channel 4. Rated 12, “The Deepest Breath” delves into the world of freediving, following the journeys of Italian champion Alessia Zecchini and Ireland’s Stephen Keenan.
Freediving is an adrenaline-pumping extreme sport where competitors push their limits by diving to unimaginable depths underwater, all while holding their breath without any scuba gear. In the film, Zecchini aims to set a new world record, and she receives crucial assistance from safety diver Keenan.
Safety divers are an integral part of the sport, as freedivers often face the risk of blacking out during their ascent. As Zecchini gears up to take on the legendary Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt, a challenging dive that lies 184 feet below the Red Sea with an 85-foot-long tunnel, she relies on Keenan to meet her at each end of the tunnel on opposite safety ropes.
Before its release on Netflix, “The Deepest Breath” also had a limited run in cinemas, hinting at its potential as a contender for the Best Documentary category at the 2024 Oscars.
Critics and audiences alike have showered praise on the film. Rotten Tomatoes boasts an impressive 96 percent audience score and a respectable 84 percent on the Tomatometer from 43 reviews. Vogue has lauded the film’s addictive and alarming portrayal of athletic obsession, with a hint of manipulation in its successive revelations.
Viewers have expressed their deep emotional connection with the documentary, with some describing it as a powerful and moving experience that left them in tears. Many have labeled it as one of the best documentaries they’ve ever seen, applauding its toughness and spectacle.
“The Deepest Breath” is now available on Netflix, promising an enthralling exploration of the world of freediving, human determination, and the quest for record-breaking feats.