Descent – Film Review

Everyone has their own way of dealing with trauma, for Kiki Bosch she found comfort in diving deep into the world’s coldest waters. All without a wetsuit! Directed by Nays Baghai, Descent is a documentary that explores Kiki’s early life and passion for swimming and scuba-diving, following a horrible sexual assault where her passion was lost. This was until Kiki discovered ice free-diving and the therapy involved in preparing for her diving sessions.

Kiki’s story is extremely inspiring as we see her go through her breakdown and struggling to deal with her guilt. But through all this, Kiki transforms into a strongminded and determined woman. Seeing her planning her dives is very interesting and I found watching her meditate taking the plunge into the cold depths to actually be quite calming.  

As you can imagine, the world’s coldest waters are found in some truly breathtaking places, which makes for visually stunning cinematography of Kiki’s diving sessions. The underwater scenes give us a stunning, unseen view of the world. A world where we’d possibly never see any other way. This dive footage is intertwined with flashbacks and interviews from Kiki and others close to her that helped her along the way; such as Kiki’s mother, ex-partner and cinematographer, and fellow free divers.

Overall, the documentary is an interesting dive into a sport that not many people would know about. I had heard of free-diving, but never ice-free diving. It just takes it to a whole new level. If you’re ever feeling a little down, this film will hopefully inspire you to get out there, try something new and breakout of that funk!

Descent is screening as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival until August 2. Visit to find out more.

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