Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive (2022) Movie Script

One minute.
Thirty seconds.
Five, four,
three, two, one. Top time.
For as long
as I can remember,
I've really enjoyed being in water.
When I was little, we had
five-meter-deep swimming pool in our town.
I used to go to the bottom of that pool
and watch the people swimming above me.
When you look at people from below,
they look like animals.
You feel this deep sense of acceptance,
free from any negativity or irritations.
It is just
this natural feeling of goodness.
The ice hole is a bit like a gateway
to a beautiful, quiet place
where time stands still.
Down there,
I feel like I am part of nature.
One might imagine that you would panic
and scramble for the surface.
But instead, my body calms down.
My heart beats more slowly.
When I dive,
my mind is completely relaxed.
There's nothing to be afraid of.
I wanted to know how far I could dive
from one ice hole to another
on a single breath.
I wanted to dive under ice
further than any other person.
My record,
the women's world record, is 50 meters.
It's been three years
and nobody has broken it,
but I could dive further.
Maybe I could break
the men's world record of 80 meters.
You have to divide it.
I split it into three parts,
which means
I have three phases in the dive.
It's like when I taught you
as a kid to write essays.
I'm the older one.
She's the baby sister.
We called her a monkey.
I always remember her
doing something weird.
She always says,
"Girls can do anything men can do."
Just if I think,
"I'm a girl. I shouldn't do that."
She's like, "What?
What do you mean?"
"Just let's go and do it."
Kayaking, motorbiking,
and downhill biking.
And she always has to push it further.
So, it wasn't a surprise
when something went wrong.
I fell down a slope
on my downhill bike
and broke my leg badly.
It nearly became gangrenous,
and they had to perform a fasciotomy.
That caused really bad neuralgia,
which left me in constant pain.
Still three years later,
the nerve pain continued.
It was an unbearable pain.
I couldn't sleep at all,
and the doctors couldn't help.
I thought I might go mad.
Then I heard about cold treatment.
In the treatment,
the foot is immersed in freezing water.
At first,
the treatment itself was painful.
So much so that it made me cry.
But as I began
to get used to the cold water,
I noticed that
it was not only good for the injury,
but it created a state
of deep relaxation for my whole body.
That feeling can be really addictive.
The nerve pain eased,
so I put the other leg in too.
I sank completely into the water.
The injury had opened up
a whole new world for me.
If I want to set a new record, I'll have
to train intensively for the dive.
If I am not properly prepared, an attempt
like this could be really dangerous.
In the worst-case scenario, the cold water
could cause me to have a cardiac arrest.
If I am unable to surface in time,
I could lose consciousness.
So I never train under the ice
without my sister Elina being with me.
- Okay?
- Okay.
In freediving,
the worst mistakes are most often mental.
If I get nervous,my body's messages
can be impossible to read,
and I won't know
when to come back to the surface.
So it's a matter of mental training.
That was so cold! I'm leaking.
There's water coming in
from here somewhere.
- Where is the hole?
- Here, there it is.
This next one,
80 meters in cold water,
it's a long... long dive.
If I could choose,
I... I might say, "Don't do it."
But she has it in her mind.
It's a learning process for us both.
As I have to deal with my fears,
in that same moment,
Elina has to face her fears as well.
I do worry.
I don't want tosee her in trouble.
I don't want to see her blackout.
Sometimes I think,
what if something happens
and then I just drive home
by myself and she's not here.
We talk about the worst-case scenario
because we have to know what that is.
I'm sort of prepared for that.
I wouldn't want to see it,
but I would be there.
Would you rather she didn't do this?
No, I definitely think...
I think she should be doing this.
She loves it. What can I say?
The record
is dived only in aswimming suit,
so it has two big challenges:
Can I hold my breath
for such a long distance
and still remain relaxed
in icy water throughout?
When relaxed, cold just feels cold.
Even if the feeling is intense,
it is not pain.
When not relaxed, the cold feels freezing.
My head hurts, andthe pain spreads
to my brain so I can't think.
The feeling disappears from my face.
The pain penetratesdeeper
and deeper through my skin.
Every muscle in my body wants to tense.
My joints try
to protect themselves by cramping.
How does this feel?
How does it feel?
It is very cold!
My breathing is stifled.
My skin stings,
hurts, and burns everywhere.
The dive can take up to three minutes.
The only option is
to accept that water is cold.
Okay. The time?
Over two minutes.
My fingers are freezing.
Johanna's training has been going well.
It's getting colder, and we have ice,
but less than what we would normally have
this time of the year.
And that's concerning
because we need to have way more ice
to do a record attempt in March.
But it was a nice time
with Johanna training and...
The ice is talking to us.
I have always taken pictures of Johanna.
We started when we were about ten.
I bought my first camera,
and she had to be my model.
And I would say, "Yeah, let's go
take some pictures and put these on
and we can put
some makeup on you."
Usually, we take quiet artistic pictures.
Because she's kind of an artist
and I'm an artist,
so somehow we mix
all these things together.
All that is training for her,
she says it's even more difficult
than just diving a straight line.
You were pulling a silly face.
- I knew it!
- It's in the picture now.
That one's actually really nice.
There's maybe...
We have kids,
and bills like any other peopleto pay,
and we're both working.
So, to be able to do this,
we have to think of all of those things.
First bone I broke,
how old was I?
- Five? Three?
- I was four when I had...
Ever since I was very young,
she's always been doing
very extreme things.
I don't really stress about it
or feel worried about it.
She's always been that way.
I think I would prefer her
over a mum that just doesn't do anything.
It'll be really cool
if she does beat the record,
but I just hope
nothing bad really happens.
Even just five more centimeters of ice.
If the temperature falls
below zero, it might still freeze.
There's no point
trying to walk on it as it's so thin.
Yes, look it went through already.
Oh, it's that thin?
Let's not panic.
We've been here
six years, I think.
And it's never been like this.
Let's see if I manage.
How much ice do you have there?
Under ten centimeters
and very flexible ice.
- How much water is on the ice?
- 10 to 12 centimeters.
- Yeah.
- A lot.
There's a chance
we will have ice,
but there's also a chance we won't.
Two hundredkilometers up north,
they already have 30 centimeters.
- Yeah, right. So then we have to...
- In the worst-case scenario...
One option isto find
another place at the end of February.
Lake Valkia could be a good place.
At least it's a beautiful place.
The next four weeks
will tell us where we're heading.
- Right. We will keep in touch.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Bye-bye.
- Bye-bye.
Usually at this time of year,
there is already frost, snow, and ice.
But not this year.
This year it just rains.
According to the rules, the ice should be
at least 30 centimeters thick.
We don't have that here.
It's a bleak situation,
only about one centimeter of ice.
It's been
a really strange year in general.
It's been such a warm winter.
I don't even remember a winter this warm.
Of course the record attempt
can be moved further north,
but a warmer climate will affect
more than just my record attempt.
My problems seem so insignificant
compared to the state of our environment.
Because the water hasn't frozen
in the south,
we've changed the location
to northern Finland.
We've chosen a very clear lake
located in Hossa National Park.
I don't want to change the place.
I want to dive in a familiar place.
I want to know
how many steps to breakfast,
from there to the sauna,
and from the sauna to the opening.
I want to know when
is the last moment to put on my swimsuit.
For others,
this is just a change of place.
For me, this changes everything.
- Hi.
- Hello.
Well, hello!
Nice to see you, finally.
- I've seen a picture of you. Johanna.
- Elina.
- Yeah, Tapsa. Hello.
- Hi.
This is llri Lake.
It's beautiful.
I received drawings
of what you want.
- Yes.
- Yes.
My name is Tapani Launonen.
Normally when we are working
on the top of the frozen lake or so
my main job is the safety
and keep the people alive.
So, I try to avoid going under the water.
You can see from the ice and the snow,
what kind of a winter we have had.
It has been
an unusually warm winter in Finland.
Some people say that it's anormal cycle,
but I'm not so sure anymore.
It has been so many winters.
They are not normal.
So here you can see the still ice.
This is like the date zero
when the lake has been frozen.
So, if you want
to drive a vehicle in here,
this is the effective area
that you are counting on.
But it's still dangerous,
so you have to observe
the nature all the time,
otherwise you get killed
on your home pitch
in a place that you have gone 56 years.
And one morning you go down.
I don't know the numbers, but...
how many people go through the ice
every year, but it's too many.
- Should we walk the whole thing?
- Let's go have a look.
Let's count 81 meters from here.
- You do it. I'll just follow.
- One.
Two, three, four, five.
Your steps
are too long!
Johanna is not feeling too well.
She's had some chest problems.
Some infection or something.
Even in warm water,
if you're sick, you don't go.
In cold water, it's even more critical
to be in good shape.
Thirty-nine, 40.
- And then one more.
- Oh yes.
- Just to be safe.
- Sure.
Yeah. Right.
There it is.
- There.
- Yeah.
Eighty-one meters.
It looks so far from here,
but does it feel far?
I don't know.
If you think that there is halfway.
If the ice is thick,
I can push off the edge.
That's already ten meters
and then I'm near the end already!
Today, it doesn't look far.
But when you see
the ice holes, it will look far.
We had wanted a familiar lake,
where we'd know every detail.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
But this seems nice.
These places are...
When you change places...
I have to see if it's...
Production stop.
Could be a call from the doctor.
Because I have a strange cough.
So, what is that?
What could that come from?
What do you think?
Should I panic about dying?
I don't understand.
Who do I contact?
I guess I should see a lung specialist?
Yes. I don't really understand.
They couldn't say anything
on the blood test.
And they said,
'Friday, you will see the doctor,
and he will make... she will make
the plan of what is the next step'.
A new place is
a big change to the original plan.
I could come
and just test this ice hole.
And now,
to get sick on top of that?
If there is something going on
with the chest, then there's no diving.
We'll see the doctor
and go through the X-ray, but I'm worried.
The X-ray showed
darkening of the lung area,
and the doctor ordered
further examinations.
Darkening can be caused by inflammation.
Fortunately, however,
nothing life-threatening,
but this needs to be examined further.
Sometimes it feels like once one problem
is solved, another comes immediately.
We solved the location problem,
but then my own health issues arose.
Before we could solve that, a bigger
problem spread throughout the world.
China says
the number of people infected
by a mysterious respiratory virus
has more than tripled over the weekend.
The World Health Organization
has officially called it "COVID-19."
Public gatherings,
including sports events, are banned,
and schools and universitiesare closed,
being advised simply to stay at home.
Everything has been canceled,
including my record attempt.
It's still beautiful.
What did you pack this time?
All my camera gear.
- All of it?
- Yes!
Because I thought that it could...
It's been a challenging year, and
my priorities have changed completely now.
When there are "real things" to deal with,
like COVID and everything else
that happened this year.
It's a humbling experience
that brings you back down to earth
and reminds you what's really important.
I'm lucky that I've been given
a second chance to attempt this.
Last year, I practiced a lot, and I was
very confident about my record attempt.
But during the COVID pandemic,
the swimming halls have been closed.
I feel that, in all honesty,
I have practiced too little.
Fortunately, nothing serious
was found in the lung images,
and the doctor gave permission
to keep training.
But, during this winter's training,
I haven't been able to enjoy the cold.
I couldn't relax. I didn't want to train.
I've tried to remember
how the cold water felt when it felt good,
but I couldn't bring it back to my mind.
But at this point,
it wouldn't make sense to give up,
so I have to stop and think again
why I originally wanted to set a record.
When you see
Johanna swimming, it seems to be so easy
because she is
a very efficient and fast swimmer.
But when you want to take some equipment
to follow with the camera,
everything is more complicated.
We cannot use
conventional diving equipment
because it will freeze.
The water temperature
is about two degrees,
and, uh, we wear a very thick suit,
so we don't feel much cold,
but the worst part is the finger.
That hurts a lot.
We decided to be
kind of disconnected to that environment,
and that involves
a lot of equipment, a lot of energy,
but what Johanna is doing
is she accepts the cold,
and that makes everything very, very pure.
It's such a magical night.
It's so beautiful.
A year ago,
my plan was to dive 80 meters,
knowing that anything over 50 meters would
have been a new women's world record.
But now there's
a new women's record of 70 meters
and an unofficial dive of102 meters.
- It's quite far.
- A lot of cold water.
The people
around me are focusing
on these new records and distances.
It's easy to let my mind wander,
"Could I break all these new records too?"
But I can't focuson this
or a target of 103 meters.
I just have to dive as well as I can.
For two years, it's been in her head,
"I have to do this dive."
It is scary for her.
But it is scary for me too.
There's a reason
nobody has dived this far before.
I know during the dive if I see her
go past 82 and she keeps going,
then I will be nervous.
To be honest now,
I just want it to be over.
Let's go to sleep.
Okay, the track. First hole, 20 meters.
Next one, 40 meters, and then 60.
Seventy-one, 82, 93,
and 103 will be the last hole.
As soon as Johanna surfaces,
everybody should stay quiet.
She has to show the "okay" sign
by herself in 20 seconds.
After that, I will give my judgment
by showing the card.
- Okay, and then it's done.
- Then it's done.
This distance
she's planning to swim,
it's already that she'shypothermic,
which means that
your normal body temperature
goes below 35, 34.
The really, really worst-case scenario
would be that she has a cardiac arrest.
Then, of course,
we have to treat her in the ambulance
and bring her
as fast as possible to the hospital.
Five minutes.
One minute.
Thirty seconds.
Five, four, three, two, one. Top time.
Twenty meters.
Forty meters.
Fifty meters.
One hundred three!
White card!
White card!
She was unbelievable.
At the end, you know,
I was a little bit doubting, a little bit,
because she was going very, very slowly.
I was like, I really hope
that she won't black out
before the end, but the dive was so clean.
I think it's really her place here.
Water's highand she's in the middle,
and this is just beautiful.
There is no question. This is beautiful.
It was a long way.
Oh. Now, you never
have to dive again.
- That was the last one.
- Elina!
She never has to dive
ever again. It's over.
I never have to worry again.
This year has reminded me
of what is really important:
to spend time with my loved ones
and do things together.
If I had done this alone,
I could not have succeeded.
And it doesn't matter
whose record I broke.
By learning something new
and pushing those kinds of boundaries,
they became a new reality for me.
Just because something is difficult
doesn't mean
we should not try to achieve it.
This is the only way we can learn
something new about ourselves.