Film Review: The Crystal Labyrinth
An extraordinary and terrifying glimpse into the world beneath our feet, as cave divers take on the underwater catacombs of the Bahamas
Brian Kakuk has spent over ten years on what appears to be his one mission in life – to connect two seemingly separate underwater caves on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Named ‘Dan’s Cave’ and ‘Ralph’s Cave’, these modest pools are the openings to a hidden world of majestic limestone structures, deep below the palm trees and sun-scorched sand. Finding a way to join the two could confirm the island as being home to the world’s largest underwater cave network.
This film takes us underground with Kakuk, through the incredible underwater tunnel systems and stalagmites-filled caverns – the largest of which is 120m long and 40m wide – which have spent most of the past 10,000 years or more in complete darkness. The eerie glow of the divers’ powerful torches, casting long, foreboding shadows on the cave walls, gives us the opportunity to finally see these geological treasures.
It perfectly captures how cave diving can replace the experience of seeing the vibrant colours of coral reefs and marine life, with the thrill of what Kakuk calls ‘one of the last true forms of exploration’. We follow his attempts to navigate a direct route from one cave to the other, in the hope that recognition of the immense scale and complexity of the cave system would get them the official respect and protection they deserve.
For the claustrophobic, this film will get your pulse racing at the sight of the divers – deep in the bowels of the cave system – removing their oxygen tanks in order to squeeze through tiny gaps in the rock. It’s an amazing insight into the world of cave diving, and a great advertisement for the exploration and conservation work of Brian Kakuk and his organisation Bahamas Underground.
The Crystal Labyrinth is being screened as part of th International Film Tour. For more information and for booking tickets, please visit www.oceanfilmtour.com.