Italian freediver Alessia Zecchini holds a world record in her class, taking just three minutes and 38 seconds to descend to an ocean depth of 109 meters. And he was just 18 when he set a previous world record in the deadly sport of freediving – now the subject of Laura McGann’s documentary ‘The Deepest Breath’, hoping to become the ‘Free Solo’ of diving docs when it airs on Netflix at July 19.
In “The Deepest Breath,” Zecchini describes the depths of the ocean as the only quiet place left on Earth as he prepares to set a new world record in one of the most dangerous extreme sports ever: reaching the underwater depths without scuba gear.
Free divers are regularly subjected to blackouts when returning to the surface, with safety divers such as Irish adventure seeker Stephen Keenan standing by to assist. Forming a bond, the couple started training together after falling in love with the sport in Dahab, Egypt. The documentary chronicles their attempts on Dahab’s Blue Hole, an 85-foot-long tunnel located 184 feet under the Red Sea.
From IndieWire’s review of the film released at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where “The Deepest Breath” had its world premiere in Park City: “The story of what happened to Alessia Zecchini and Stephen Keenan on that fateful day off the coast Shores of Egypt is compelling enough to withstand some of the frustrations of the way it’s told here. There’s a powerful symmetry in how these two people intersected and eventually – potentially – began to fall in love, and ‘The Deepest Breath’ illustrates this with the clarity of Bahamian seawater.
Watch the official trailer for ‘The Deepest Breath’ below.