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Hot Docs 2019: “Last Breath” (2019) ★★★★★


I don’t remember the last time I had to go through all my nails and leave nothing by the end of a film. And it was not just a  film – it was a very well constructed documentary with interviewees that were as genuine as possible, helping us to keep going during the impossible situation each and every one of them find themselves in.

“Last Breath” follows the near-tragic event that occurs in the North Sea, and revealing much about it can spoil the entire experience. Short and concise, the film reconstructs the events that occurred on the Bibby Topaz vessel which, after encountering mechanical difficulties, finds itself far from a place where their diver’s umbilical severed, making the man stuck deep into the bottom with minutes left to live. Now it is up to the entire crew members to figure out what to do next if they want to recover Chris Lemons alive. It will be a race against the clock that only well-focused minds can beat. But is it the case with “Last Breath” or not is something you should not miss an opportunity to find out.

“Last Breath” is a nail-biting suspenseful thriller that gives us under-sea footages, the rescue mission, tears and laughter, and the moments of uncertainty where no one knows what will happen next. Right from the start, the film helps the audience to get closer to the vessel to understand their mission and from that moment on it’s like if you were on a racing car that only increases its speed. Directors Alex Parkinson and Richard da Costa make their documentary in such a way that all Hollywood blockbusters can learn from.

As I said earlier, with this piece every film critic must be careful, as one extra detail can give away so much. This is why I would rather let you enjoy it by keeping all the juicy parts to myself so you can go through the same absolutely indescribable experience as I did. In the end, “Last Breath” is not only a perfect documentary, but it also captures the moment of despair, shock and strong will that must come together to fight with an inevitable situation. A situation that can make your heart race, but towards the end, make you cry perhaps, like a little baby with mixed emotions because this film has a lot to offer. And I sincerely hope you can accept it by watching and admiring its beauty. Because it is simply true.

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