Thanks to exceptional camerawork by fellow French freediver Julie Gautier, Nery has succeeded in breathtaking fashion.
The pair took advantage of a recent competition at Dean's Blue Hole west of the Bahamas, in Gautier's words, "to make a short movie."
-- Pete Thomas
In the movie, Nery steals a breath, marches downward across a sandy moonscape to the edge of the world's deepest underwater sink hole (638 feet). He then falls forward, like a BASE-jumper from a cliff, and begins a head-first descent.
He seems to fall through space, arms at his sides, hair flowing behind his mask, body silhouetted by the fading light above, until reaching what appears to be the bottom of the blue hole. Nery then springs upward and scales the sinkhole's walls like a rock-climber in zero-gravity, ultimately reaching the surface -- and stealing another breath -- after almost four minutes underwater.
The problem is, Guillaume did not reach the bottom and did not mean to imply that he did. (At least one report stated he did just that. Others suggested he and Gautier filmed this in one dive during actual competition.)
"I never pretended to reach the bottom. It's impossible and no one will ever do it," Guillaume said via email, emphasizing that the movie was an artistic creation -- "a fiction movie" -- that took four afternoons of diving "to get all the shots."
"We just wanted to show another approach of freediving," he explained. "For me freediving means to be in harmony with the elements, it means freedom, it means exploring the unknown. We tried to express this feeling in one video."
Gautier, a French freediving champion and model, said on her blog: "Our goal was to emphasize on aesthetic images and innovative camera moves."
Did they accomplish their goals? You be the judge.
Editor's note: This post also appear on the GrindTv outdoors blog