Apnea is the voluntary suspension of breathing, the basis of underwater fishing and free-diving (also known as apnea), which requires training and concentration, among other requisites. Dimitris, the young leading character of the Greek film "Apnea" can stay underwater for five minutes, and he does it as part of his training to participate in international swimming competitions. However since Dimitris has a natural tendency to lose himself, he enjoys apnea perhaps a bit too much and sometimes he puts his life in danger, beyond his limits. This motion picture has a more simple and conventional narrative than other Greek films with complex stories and formats, although it breaks up its plot in different time frames, as it is the result of several of Dimitris' apnea immersions during which he evokes his relationship with Elsa, the daughter of a middle class dental surgeon and an environmental activist. But as other Greek contemporary movies that are alert to their surroundings, "Apnea" also reflects the financial crisis of the country, and it does not lack references to situations of instability and lack of opportunities. In his working class home Dimitris' sports activity is questioned by his father, who is deep in debt, has yet to see any gain in his 23-year old son's training and would much welcome a bit of economic support to face the family's situation. Besides this pressure Dimitris also has to cope with the sudden disappearance of Elsa, who is involved in the cause of a scientist, a man who fights in defense of dolphins but who can be indifferent and even cruel to other people's sufferings. Dimitris' apnea serves as leitmotiv and as the transitional image of different time sequences, until it reaches a dramatic moment with and open but nonetheless tense ending: when the swimmer emerges from the deep after a long immersion, the last meters can be dangerous
It is interesting to know that both director Aris Bafaloukas and actor Sotiris Pastras were swimming champions. Being younger than Aris, Sotiris' professional career was affected by the crisis of his country. His amazing dexterity is seen in the film and inspires one of Elsa's lines: "You swim like a dolphin". Indeed he does.