Breath is an Australian production, based on the novel Breath by Australian author Tim Winton. Director, producer and actor of the main character, Simon Baker, has a deep connection to the film since he grew up surfing in New South Wales and can see himself in the boys. He claims he had a mentor too, just as the boys have Sando in the movie. When he presented his film to the audience prior the first screening at HIFF, on November 8th, he said: „(…)what is very special about being here for me is, that in December 1914, on the 24th of December, Duke Kahanamoku came to Australia and introduced surfing to our country and it was an incredible gift. It was an incredible gift and I cherished it all of my life and I wanna give this back to you guys, and thank you guys and girls for the spirit of Aloha and the stuff that we all cherish with our relationship with the ocean. (…) like I said, a lot of people put their hearts and souls into this, so (…) this movie is for my kids.”
Breath plays in the early 1970s in Australia, in a small town near the sea. One day the two young boys Pikelet and Loonie see a surfer in the water and are fascinated by him. They want to learn how to surf too. They buy old wooden boards from a man in town and one day the surfer, Sando, gives the boys a ride and offers them to store their boards at his place where he lives with his wife, an injured former professional skier. From this day on, the two boys build a friendship with the Sando, who challenges them to take greater and more dangerous risks and gives them wetsuits and better boards. One day, Pikelet and Sando went to Asiat o surf and left Loonie, who had to go to school, and Sando’s wife Eva behind without telling them.
The two of them start an affair and Eva gets pregnant just before Sando returns, who thinks he is the father. After this, Loonie gives up on surfing and the film ends after Pikelet died.
Simon Baker as Sando
Elizabeth Debicki as Eva
Samson Coulter as Pikelet
Ben Spencer as Loonie