Under the influence (Netflix): the chilling true story that inspired the film

On September 9, 2022, Netflix will add to its catalog Under the influence, a film by David Rosenthal about a couple of freedivers. Inspired by a true story, the film is expected to accurately portray a toxic relationship that will become involved with tough competition in a more than dangerous discipline.

Under the influence on Netflix, what is it about?

In Under the influenceRoxanne, camped by Camille Rowe also seen in the horror film The Deep House, is a student who will meet a certain Pascal Gauthier. The latter, interpreted by the rapper Sofiane Zermani better known as Fianso, is world No Limit freediving champion. A discipline that has already been highlighted in The big Blue by Luc Besson. Very quickly, the young woman will fall in love, and be fascinated by this sport of unequaled complexity.

Pascal will introduce Roxanne to his passion, leading her into the depths of the water but also into that of a toxic relationship, in which he plays the role of the dominant. The young student will find a talent in No Limit apnea, and will move away from college and her family, before starting to win prizes. One thing the world champion is not going to put up with. Jealous, he begins to belittle her, deceive her, and even humiliate her. Until one very last dive.

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The story of Audrey Mestre, which inspired the Netflix film Under the influence

As the trailer for the Netflix movie indicates, Under the influence is inspired by a true story, and is certainly not a romantic film. It tells the story ofAudrey Mestre, a French freediver, who broke the women’s No Limit freediving record twice. In 1996, when the young woman began to take an interest in underwater sports, she met the one who would become her husband, the champion Francisco “Pipín” Ferreras. It was the latter that helped Audrey Mestre achieve her record goals. But on October 12, 2002, while the young champion attempted a dive to a depth of 171 meters, the balloon that was supposed to help her rise to the surface did not work properly. She remained in apnea 8min30, before her body was brought to the surface by her husband.

In August 2004, Francisco Ferreras wrote the book The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession, which tells the grand story of Audrey Mestre. But in 2006, Carlos Serra, a former partner of the champion and also a member of the young woman’s last dive team, also published a book, The Last Attempt. And it is a completely different story from that of Francisco Ferreras that is told there. It would seem that the couple was on the verge of divorce, and that he could not bear the success of his wife. To punish her for wanting to leave him, he would have, without wanting to murder his wife, largely participated in the death of Audrey Mestre by sabotaging her equipment.

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The article is in French

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