Imagine meeting the love of your life who shares your passion for the sea and for life only to have it all shift in an instant.
The Deepest Breath shares the story of champion free diver Alessia Zecchini and expert safety diver Stephen Keenan, who seemed fated to meet at the height of their careers. Director Laura McGann captures the gripping mix of destiny and danger at the heart of two athletes’ undeniable bond, and offers a never-before-seen glimpse into one of the most dangerous sports in the world.
What is free diving? Highly considered one of the most extreme water sports, free diving is a mental and physical with zero gravity in the complete dark competitive sport, where you hold your breath and dive as deep as you can into the ocean without a breathing apparatus. Ears are popping and divers must train to stay calm under the most dire of circumstances, which in some instances involve bodies going into shock upon rising to the surface. You have to be in a near meditative state in order to relax and be comfortable not breathing. In addition to all of that, there’s a buildup of CO2 in your body, which feels really uncomfortable creating the urge to breathe. Having negative thoughts or fear and prove fatal. So, why would anyone want to do this for a living? Individuals whose love of the ocean depth more than life itself.
McGann does an exceptional job of stitching together the timeline of Alessia, Stephen individually and collectively while sharing how their love of the sea took them on an unforgettable journey of aquatic life.
Cinematographer Tim Cragg and McGann perfectly pair up to gather some of the most exquisitely breathtaking underwater footage capturing why the beauty of the ocean was so rapturous to the film’s subjects.
The Deepest Breath emboldens Stephen’s motto of “Live and Be Happy,” yet I was sobbing by the film’s end. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than knowing a life was not fulfilled to its ultimate potential. Stephen Keenan lost his life saving the one person on this earth he connected to through the spiritual energy of water. So that his loss would not be in vain, an award will would named in his honor given to safety divers who show outstanding dedication to their divers…just as Stephen did in life.
Not one to give up, Alessia would go on to grab more than 24 world titles in the pool and sea. Each one has been dedicated to Stephen Keenan honoring their undeniable connection, but for the skills and courage he armed her with to succeed well beyond his time on this earth.
The Deepest Breath is now streaming on Netflix and will simultaneously warm, break and inspire your heart all at once.