Diving Into The Unknown

There’s something quite fascinating about the unknown. It’s a fascination which pushes brave men and women to explore, delve, and in this case, dive into unexplored territories. But with groundbreaking expeditions come dangers, and sadly there are times that those dangers lead to tragedy. 

The Plura cave system in Norway is a long, dark and dangerous underwater passage. In 2014, two divers encountered complications on an expedition into the system, becoming trapped and passing away in the deep waters. Diving Into The Unknown tells the story of their friend’s mission to bring their bodies home.

Diving Into The Unknown.
Diving Into The Unknown.

It’s a mission which came about through necessity. Through a need for a group of extraordinary people to do the right thing. To ensure that their friends wouldn’t remain in limbo. Director Juan Reina (who coincidentally studied at the same university as yours truly), producer Juho Harjula, and their crew were on hand to capture every twist and turn the divers would face.

“When we first had the idea about doing a documentary on cave diving in 2010, we spent a lot of time looking for a common thread for the film and writing the script with the divers. The actual development of the film began in 2012, at which point we thought we had found our final story. However, sadly, everything changed in the blink of an eye. Two members of the crew perished on a dive in Plurdalen, Northern Norway in February 2014, and three survived almost miraculously. We had no idea whether the surviving divers would ever want to dive again.

When the Norwegian and British officials called off the official retrieval operation because it was deemed too risky, the three surviving divers put their own team and together and started planning a secret mission to bring their dead friends home. Because we had already worked so closely together, the crew decided to trust us to film the secret operation. At the time we had no idea what the result would be or how the operation would play out. We headed for Norway with two cameramen and four underwater cameras. All of this was done in secret from the authorities and the media, and only a small group of people knew anything about what we were doing.

It was astonishing to be able to follow these professionals so closely as they worked under extreme conditions and stress to complete the mission. For this reason, I extend my deepest appreciation to the commitment that all of the participants have shown to the project. I also hope that the film allows the general public to get a glimpse of what true friendship at its best can really mean.”  Juho Harjula, Producer.

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It’s a remarkable story, and one which looks to have been beautifully documented. As the film’s director, Reina, put it himself:

“I strongly believe that the story has all the powerful ingredients to touch people across cultural and geographical boundaries. Ultimately this is an amazingly candid story of unconditional friendship, overcoming adversity and experiencing something that really any one of us can identify with.

The idea of going to any lengths to bring your friends home is certainly noble. But this story is even more complex than that. Ultimately it asks the question: Is this something that’s worth dying for?”

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For more on Diving Into The Unknown, head on over to the BBC for an incredible, detailed article on the project, to the film’s official website, or to its Facebook page. Watch this space for news on a UK release date in the near future!

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