Directed by: Richard da Costa and Alex Parkinson
Written by: Alex Parkinson
Starring: Chris Lemons, David Yuasa, Duncan Allcock, Kjetil Ove Alvestad, Michal Cichorski
Reviewed by: Brad Williamson
The best documentaries amaze, educate, and pique your interest in topics you never knew you were fascinated by. Last Breath does all that, and much, much more. One of the best documentaries I can ever remember seeing, it takes you on an adventure you would never believe if you watched it on film; even after watching proof, you still won’t believe what happened.
Diving is a fascinating topic, from pearl divers, to breath-holding contests, to magicians in tanks, to shallow-water SCUBA and snorkeling, to deep-sea diving that only maniacs would try, it is a diverse and ancient area of interest. This film highlights the niche technique of saturation diving, introducing the various aspects and people involved in the complex process through a series of cinematic re-enactments and interviews. There aren’t any actors in this movie, but it’s filmed in such a way that the real people involved become their own portrayals, and each one of them is great in their own way.
The interviews are interspersed with footage from the real boat and dive, ensuring a level of realism even James Cameron would be jealous of. The shots of the roaring North Sea, the boat cresting massive swells with divers beneath it in the water, the divers walking along the seabed and working on the pipeline, it’s all breathtaking.
The story that unfolds is impossible to judge one way or another, because it’s simply recounting what truly happened. Still, it’s an unbelievable story that you really need to see to believe, and you still won’t believe it.
Very highly recommended for everyone.