A documentary about caves and cave diving featuring Lamar Hires, Jim Bowden, John Orlowski, Bill Rennaker.
Cave diving is one of the most dangerous sports, but it opens to an incredible world of darkness. Following some of the greatest cave divers in North Florida, Facing Darkness is an educational documentary which invites you to discover the underwater caves and how divers safely explore that environment.
Products web site includes a trailer of the film.
Product Review: Appeared in Diver Magazine April 2007
Facing Darkness is an unusual film dealing with a subject too often seriously misrepresented. The Floridian diving DVD Facing Darkness should be compulsory viewing for anyone interested in cave-diving, especially those contemplating a trip to the USA or Mexico.
So often we are presented with sensational feats of daring or box-office horror stories with scant regard to fact, but this superb treatment draws on the long and highly respected experience of personalities such as Lamar Hires, Bill Rennaker, John Orlowski and Jim Bowden.
This is essentially a training film in which relative newcomers to the sport can share these divers' perspectives. Accident analysis is a major element. Well over 400 divers have perished in North American caves since 1960, and I was impressed that this is conveyed in a balanced, undramatic way.
The formative role and major contributions of divers such as Sheck Exley are acknowledged throughout.
Watching this DVD twice made me appreciate how smoothly and informatively it moves from one topic to another. The producer is brilliant at steering clear of the political minefields rife in this area of diving.
The "rules" of safe practice are all here - the importance of training, maintaining a continuous guideline to the surface, "thirds", a 40m depth limit and carrying at least three lights. And it was refreshing not to have the "do it our way" approach thrust down my throat.
It's only a pity that other cave-diving areas of the world are not acknowledged, as the essential learning points apply wherever you are.
No treatment of cave-diving can sidestep the question of risk. But as Jim Bowden concludes: "If I have achieved anything in my life, it is because I have stood upon the shoulders of giants. If it's important enough to you, it's worth the risk."
All you need to know about cave-diving in Florida is here. Congratulations to all those responsible.