A Film with Depth
Ocean Men
Review by Ross Anthony

Ocean Men This compelling picture descends behind the flippers of two the world's foremost professional freedivers. Freediving is the sport of taking the human body as far as one can down into the ocean on a single breath of air - no tanks.

Follow champions, Pipin Ferreras and Umberto Pelizzari as they compete to break world records. One prefers the "by any means possible" method, holding onto a weighted sled he drops quickly to depths equivalent to a 50 story building.

The other's a purist, using only his God-given appendages and a pair of foot-flippers, he propels himself deep into the sea. The rivalry between the two has driven them closer to the center of the Earth.

The divers share their experiences and philosophies:

  • "Before I could talk, I could swim."
  • "I like to swim with sharks, they represent self-confidence and power. In my imagination I become one of them."
  • "My first challenge is convincing myself that oxygen is unnecessary."

These swimmers' heart rates drop to fourteen beats per minute, their lungs crushed to the size of oranges while they hold their breaths for upwards of six minutes.

Though chronicling the competition from above, the real beauty of the film lies beneath the surface. Absolutely religiously beautiful, underwater cams capture these angelic swimmers, shirtless, fearlessly swim-dancing with sharks and dolphins. Shots from under these divers, capture them as they float toward the sky like superheroes. I could have watched them swim for hours. Truly inspirational, the most pure elements of the human spirit reflect light from the waves above.

  • Ocean Men. Copyright © 2001.
  • Starring Pipin Ferreras and Umberto Pelizzari.
  • Directed by Bob Talbot.
  • Produced by H5B5 Media/nWave.

(and that's just the rough cut - as screened at the 2001 LFCA conference)

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:01:26 PDT