The Human Experience: Our Review of ‘The Deepest Breath’ on Netflix

Posted in Movies, Netflix, Theatrical, What's Streaming? by - July 14, 2023
The Human Experience: Our Review of ‘The Deepest Breath’ on Netflix

Chasing that dragon of the unattainable comes at a cost….

In theatres for a limited run and streaming on Netflix this coming July 19th; The Deepest Breath is an intense look at the prices we as individuals are willing to pay to achieve the unattainable, including what you can find yourself willing to do, for love.

A champion free diver and expert safety diver seemed destined for one another despite the different paths they took to meet at the pinnacle of the freediving world. It’s a look at the thrilling rewards and inescapable risks of chasing dreams through the depths of the ocean.

It’s a part of the human condition for certain people to grasp for the seemingly unattainable, which is what ultimately draws us into this story of champion free diver Alessia Zecchini, but what The Deepest Breath does here is almost inexplicable as we grasp not only an understanding for the sport and what drives Alessia to it but we get a real sense of what true love means and what it can actually cost.

Via some absolutely jaw dropping photography and stunning access we quite literally get a genuine sense of what it means to dive THAT deep into the ocean without an oxygen tank, as these divers push themselves to some incredible limits, time and time again.

Writer/director Laura McGann has crafted something here that would be an exhilarating rush to watch, even if it didn’t have any sound to it.  The photography here is absolutely immersive and allows for the ocean to be just as much of a subject in the film as Alessia Zecchini and her paramore and renound safety diver Stephen Keenan were.

For all the films we’ve seen about extreme sports over the years, this one may actually be the most extreme of them all because it’s the quietest, and the sound of silence when you are over 30 stories beneath the surface of the water is unquestionably deafening.

McGann allows us as an audience to get into the mindset of these athletes and appreciate the drive but the risks that these athletes endure every time they go for a record.  While you can feel the artifice and creative liberties that the filmmaker has to take in order to get the point across you can’t help but get wrapped up in it all as McGann allows the emotion that was shared with these people to feel just as palpable as the darkness of the ocean that Zecchini keeps diving into in order to shatter records.

Ultimately, The Deepest Breath is a portrait of the beauty and the risk of tragedy that is inherent with these kinds of athletes and the kind of risks that they are driven to take on a daily basis.  More importantly it shows how none of them would change a damn thing in order to achieve their dreams and do what they love.   It’s about the cost of the human experience and the price that it can ask of us when we push it to its limits.

The Deepest Breath is in theatres now and on Netflix on July 19th.


This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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