Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The Golden Age of Disney Animation comes to an end with 'Bambi' - Daniel explores the classic in a new Ink & Paint!x
review, Descent, Descent, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Kiki Bosch, Stefan Andrews, Mikael Koski, Wim Hof, Nays Baghai, Documentary, Drama, Sport

DESCENT

★★★

FREEDIVING FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE HUMAN PSYCHE TO ITS PEAKS

MELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
21st June 2020

I know the peace and beauty that can be found beneath the surface of the ocean. I've been scuba diving for around a decade now, and I can safely say there's nothing more tranquil and relaxing than heading below the waves. That doesn't mean, however, I have anywhere near the guts to try what Kiki Bosch does; she's a freediver whose love of cold water has offered her a unique way to cope with stress and anxiety. The documentary 'Descent' gives us a candid glimpse at her passion for freediving in below-freezing conditions - but it's not without its own pitfalls.

The film allows Kiki to tell her own story; she takes us on her personal journey from swimming to scuba to freediving. After a traumatic sexual assault, she found it impossible to move on from the ordeal, let alone get back in the water - that is, until she stumbled onto Wim Hof (A.K.A. The Iceman) and his fascination with swimming in cold water. "My mind just shut off," Kiki explains. "For the first moment in months, I wasn't ruminating about the past any more."

'DESCENT' TRAILER

From here, she journeys to Iceland to swim unfettered in water as low as 2°C (36°F) with nothing more than a one-piece swimsuit for protection, beneath a 40cm (16in) layer of ice on a frozen lake in Finland, and amongst Greenland's icebergs at temperatures of -2°C (28°F). The obsession continues, and as she develops a degree of notoriety for her wild ways, she sets out to break world records - but the challenge proves to be more difficult than she could ever imagine.

This is a tale not just of the endurance of the human body, but of the mind and spirit. Kiki is a wonderfully inspiring individual with a truly charming personality. She talks very candidly about the ups and downs of her life, and is extremely insightful about the freediving experience. Short of diving in yourself, this documentary is the best way to comprehend what it's like.

Beautifully capturing these dangerous conditions, you sense both the serenity and the very real risk at hand.

That's assisted greatly by the film's cinematography. Beautifully capturing these dangerous conditions, you sense both the serenity and the very real risk at hand. Director Nays Baghai and Australian underwater videographer Stefan Andrews (who also appears in the documentary) provide a truly heart-racing experience with some of the sequences.

There are, however, a few situations where the lower budget of the film becomes apparent. Most disappointing is Kiki's master interview; the table she's seated at is distractingly messy and the shot is very poorly lit, which is in extreme contrast to the gorgeous underwater shots, and really brings down the production value for the documentary. This is partly forgiven thanks to the poetry with which Kiki speaks about her experiences.

'Descent' might take you to some of the lowest moments in the human psyche, but it's also a celebration of its most triumphant peaks. Kiki Bosch is captured as an everyday person who does extraordinary things, offering hope to others who might be missing something revelatory in their lives. Beautifully shot and wonderfully articulated, this documentary will take you deep below the surface, send shivers down your spine, and fill you with a warmth from within.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 0m
CAST: Kiki Bosch
Stefan Andrews
Mikael Koski
Wim Hof
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Nays Baghai
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Melbourne Documentary Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
23 Walks - A story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
TRENDING23 WALKSA story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - The film every teenager needs to see
TRENDINGNEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYSThe film every teenager needs to see
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
Becky - Bloody fun with untapped potential
TRENDINGBECKYBloody fun with untapped potential
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
Boys State - A revelation on the power of politics and young minds
TRENDINGBOYS STATEA revelation on the power of politics and young minds
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
Peninsula - An action-packed but brainless follow-up to a horror classic
TRENDINGPENINSULAAn action-packed but brainless follow-up to a horror classic
La Belle Époque - Crowd-pleasing French romantic comedy
TRENDINGLA BELLE ÉPOQUECrowd-pleasing French romantic comedy
Melbourne International Film Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGMELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
The Little Death - Josh Lawson opens up about sex
TRENDINGTHE LITTLE DEATHJosh Lawson opens up about sex
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us