Review: Diving In Darkness DVD - A film by Christine Grosart

Diving In Darkness - A Film By Christine Grosart



Cave diving is something that both intrigues me, and frightens me to death; the latter being the more acute reaction. I have watched many a GUE video of the main men cruising through the crystal clear waters of Mexico, France or Florida; this film bears little resemblance to that, and what I understood as 'cave diving.'

Diving In Darkness offers a gritty, cold, and severe account of UK cave diving. It is filmed and produced by Christine Grosart, an avid UK cave diver, who also provides the narration for the film as well as starring.





The film is broken into very definite chapters that look at individual cave systems within the UK. The film features Pridhamsleigh Cave, Swildons Hole, Cheddar Gough, a welsh cave system and Boreham caves. Each section has an historical introduction to the area, an overview of the system itself, and any previous cave exploration. Interviews with cave explorers Steve Thomas and Clive Westlake are very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the segment with Steve Thomas; his passion for caving is very infectious and he provided a wonderful account of developing the 'always look up rule' when exploring a cave.


The film is well shot and creates an excellent timeline of divers arriving at a site, transferring dive equipment to the cave, kitting up, crawling through dry sections, and finally diving through sumps to reach the more hidden secrets held underground. Christine provides excellent narration throughout the film ensuring the watcher doesn't get lost between sites.

(c) Christine Grosart

(c) Christine Grosart
(c) Christine Grosart

Despite watching the film with my eyes half closed, and making statements such as "seriously - that's mental!" or "why would you do that to yourself?"; it is very enjoyable. Some of the shots are fantastic; a particular emphasis must be placed on the lighting - which is brilliant. I particularly enjoyed the Cheddar Cave shots of the divers in the more open sections; the backlighting is excellent. The film reaches a peak when the watcher is treated to the infamous "China Shop" section; a photo of which graces the DVD cover.


"The China Shop"
(c) Christine Grosart



Concluding the film is a 'making of' section that allows the viewer to appreciate the extreme difficulty in undertaking such a venture, never-mind with such a small team. 

It was also intriguing to learn how the aerial shots were filmed, and laugh at the out takes; look out for GUE instructor Rich Walker being censored in a particularly tight section of a sump.






The film is obviously a labour of love (taking 2 years to make), and although not professionally produced, is far from amateur. The film looked well on my posh TV, the sound was good, and the menu system was perfect. Overall the film is excellent, and well worth £10 (plus p&p) - go buy it.




LINK: Wetwellies




4 comments:

  1. I agree with the review having watched the DVD myself. We don't usually get to see the deepest depths of British cave systems, this DVD brings them to life. As a novice diver and a hopeful cave diver, it really gives me something to aspire to.

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  2. This begs THE question to be answered, will you take up cave diving Andy?

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  3. I know you'll enjoy it Jean-Louis!

    Eh, no Ishihiro, I shan't be taking up cave diving anytime soon; and I can assure you I will NEVER be in a UK cave of that nature shown in this film! Total madness!!!

    Nice to watch from the safety of my sofa with a beer though. :)

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Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it!

Safe diving buddy.