In October 2004, two cave divers and long-time friends, Don and Dave, dive in Boesmansgat, a mythical cave in South Africa. Dave was breaking a world record for depth. It would take them 15 minutes to reach the bottom, but 12 hours to surface. Once he touched bottom, against all odds, Dave finds a body.
The two friends decide to come back and retrieve it. They call the parents, enroll 8 support divers, and hire a cameraman to document the historic dive in its entirety – from the preparation on the surface to the operation at the bottom of the cave.
Little did they know that, from that dive, Dave would not be coming back.
In a time of over-performance driven by self-promotion and self-filming, Dave Not Coming Back is a story of loss and mourning where ego and altruism, hubris and self-control, risk-taking and spirituality all go hand in hand. A chain of paradoxical choices that lead to a tragedy long foreseen, yet impossible to prevent.
Screening History & Awards
2020 Hamilton Film Festival – Best Documentary
2020 Austin Film Festival – Marquee Feature Audience Award