Documentaries about swimming and water

by cj-28-939078 | created - 04 Jul 2014 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

A list of documentaries about or with relation to swimming and the culture surrounding water and the human experience in regards to this element.

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1. Big River Man (2009)

100 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

Martin Strel attempts to cover 3,375 miles of the Amazon River, the longest continuous swim in history.

Director: John Maringouin | Stars: Matthew Mohlke, Borut Strel, Martin Strel

Votes: 1,455

2. Men Who Swim (2010)

PG | 71 min | Documentary

A humorous and poignant film about a group of middle-aged men who find unlikely success as members of Sweden's all-male synchronized swim team.

Director: Dylan Williams | Star: Simon Stadin

Votes: 193

3. Freedom's Fury (2006)

90 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary on the 1956 Olympic semifinal water polo match between Hungary and Russia. Held in Australia, the match occurred as Russian forces were in Budapest, stomping out a popular revolt.

Director: Colin K. Gray | Stars: Viktor Ageyev, Antal Bolvari, János Bük, Sándor Csoóri

Votes: 502

4. Kanalschwimmer (2004)

93 min | Documentary

A documentation about an German and an British swimmer who wants to swim over the sea-channel.

Director: Jörg Adolph

Votes: 23

5. Sync or Swim (2008)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary

Following the journey of a group of young women as they compete for spots on the 2004 U.S. synchronized swimming team and train relentlessly to win an Olympic medal, Sync or Swim offers a ... See full summary »

Director: Cheryl Furjanic

Votes: 30

6. Watermarks (2004)

Unrated | 80 min | Documentary, History, Sport

67 Metascore

The story of the Hakoah Vienna Jewish womens swim team of the 1930s, their forced separation, and their reunion decades later.

Director: Yaron Zilberman | Stars: Hanni Lux, Judith Haspel, Anni Lampl, Elisheva Susz

Votes: 226 | Gross: $0.25M

7. Der Traum vom Schweben (2004)

90 min | Documentary, Sport

Three Synchronized Swimmer, on their way into a female dominated sport, organizing a show, working hard to participate at the championships. Follow their path on their way to fame.

Director: Barbara Gräftner | Stars: Ulf G. Dahlmann, Jörg Landsiedel, Günther Naumann

Votes: 7

9. Keidas (2007)

20 min | Documentary, Short

A meditative journey to an oasis that a bunch of people consider their second home, where they return each summer.

Director: P.V. Lehtinen

Votes: 5

10. Hyppääjä (2001)

21 min | Documentary, Short, Sport

Diving is like poetry, each movement flowing into the next.

Director: P.V. Lehtinen | Star: Helge Wasenius

Votes: 34

11. Watermark (2013)

PG | 92 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

A documentary on how water shapes humanity.

Directors: Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky

Votes: 816 | Gross: $0.08M

12. Touch the Wall (2014)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Family, Sport

Swimming superstar Missy Franklin was destined for greatness at an early age, but it wasn't until the arrival of Veteran Kara Lynn Joyce that those sky-high expectations began to take shape.

Directors: Grant Barbeito, Christo Brock | Stars: Missy Franklin, Kara Lynn Joyce, Da Franklin, Dick Franklin

Votes: 98 | Gross: $0.79M

13. The Story of the Swimmer (2014 Video)

139 min | Documentary

A documentary about the making of the cult film The Swimmer (1968).

Director: Chris Innis | Stars: Michael Hertzberg, Ted Zachary, Bob Horn, Marge Champion

Votes: 32

14. Unfiltered (2005 Video)

120 min | Documentary

"Unfiltered" is an unprecedented look into the lives and competitive rivalry of two of America's greatest swimmers: Michael Phelps and Ian Crocker. Phelps, 20, is already considered the ... See full summary »

Directors: Brian Edelman, Sean Keegan, Luke Korver | Stars: Bob Bowman, Ian Crocker, Michael Phelps, Eddie Reese

Votes: 10

15. 66 sezón (2003)

86 min | Documentary

A documentary film about the Kosice swimming pool where history came to bathe. Seen through several stories which unfolded between the years 1936 and 2002, the film captures 66 seasons at ... See full summary »

Director: Péter Kerekes

Votes: 81

16. Ian Thorpe: The Swimmer (2012)

57 min | Documentary

An inside look at the life of Ian Thorpe, his return to professional swimming and journey to the 2012 London Olympics.

Director: Gregor Jordan | Stars: Ian Thorpe, Ben McCormack

Votes: 9

17. Perfect (V) (2016)

77 min | Documentary, Sport

Perfect follows the Canadian synchronised swimming team beyond the beauty, to the brawn it takes to qualify for Rio 2016.

Director: Jérémie Battaglia | Stars: Claudia Holzner, Marie-Lou Morin, Meng Chen, Karine Thomas

Votes: 24

18. Krooli (2004)

26 min | Documentary, Short, Sport

A visual and delicately poetic story about the relationship between a swimmer and water. A young competitive swimmer meets the world's fastest woman swimmer in her dreams and races her.

Director: P.V. Lehtinen | Stars: Sirja Luomaniemi, Therese Alshammar, Elena Leeve, Sanna Nisonen

Votes: 37

19. Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Sport

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl | Stars: David Albritton, Arvo Askola, Jack Beresford, Erwin Blask

Votes: 3,821

20. Ian Thorpe: Beneath the Suit (2003 Video)

Documentary, Biography, Sport

Ian Thorpe 'Beneath The Suit' DVD is an interactive, sports info-tainment product that provides an accurate, informative insight into one of the greatest swimming champions of all time.

Directors: John Chaplin, John Chataway, Dean Gilchrist, Grant Lovering | Star: Ian Thorpe

21. Back on Board: Greg Louganis (2014)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

Feature-length documentary about the greatest diver of all time. Four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis has faced more than his share of challenges. In 2011, he is far from the public eye... See full summary »

Director: Cheryl Furjanic | Stars: David Boudia, Jimmy Carter, Sergei Chalibashvili, Mary Ellen Clark

Votes: 330

22. El Club (2009)


A sensual portrait of an urban community that explores human desires, ambitions and fragility through the daily activities of a swimming club.

Director: Rose Kowalski

23. Haunts of the Black Masseur (2004 TV Movie)

53 min | Documentary

A history of swimming as a heroic pastime, as recreation and liberation, as meditation and political statement, from classical antiquity to the Hollywood of Johnny Weissmuller and Esther Williams.

Director: Jeffrey McKay | Stars: Lynne Cox, Buster Crabbe, Ruth DeGraves, Gertrude Ederle

25. Swim Team (2016)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

72 Metascore

SWIM TEAM chronicles the overwhelming struggles and extraordinary triumphs of 3 young athletes with autism and shows how a swim team can bring hope to a community.

Director: Lara Stolman

Votes: 85 | Gross: $0.00M

26. Free Swim (2009)

50 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary about the paradox of Bahamian islanders not knowing how to swim.

Director: Jennifer Galvin

28. Age of Champions (2011)

Not Rated | 71 min | Documentary

Athletes prepare for the 2009 National Senior Games: a 100-year old tennis player from Cape Cod, brothers from Washington, D.C., in their 80s who swim, a Texas widower who finds solace in ... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Rufo

Votes: 42

29. Two Swimmers (2007 TV Short)

23 min | Documentary, Short

At 21 miles wide and very, very cold, the English Channel is regarded the world over as one of the ultimate swimming challenges. Achieving such a goal can push both mind and body to their ... See full summary »

Director: Steven Sander

31. City Swimmers (2006)

54 min | Documentary

Documentary on open water swimming with a focus on the ponds of London's Hampstead Heath and the public campaign to keep them open. It links this local dispute with wider issues of public access.

Director: Margaret Dickinson

32. Olympia 2. Teil - Fest der Schönheit (1938)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Sport

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin, orchestrated as Nazi propaganda.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl | Stars: Sheigo Arai, Jack Beresford, Ralf Berzsenyi, Ferenc Csík

Votes: 3,185

33. Between the Water and the Wood (2008)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, Sport

What are the world's best swimmers doing when they're not training to make an Olympic team? Many of them are going to college and representing an American university, where the groundwork ... See full summary »

Directors: Molly Busch, Patty Busch | Stars: Augie Busch, Frank Busch, Rick DeMont, Whitney Myers

34. Defeating Oceans Seven (2013)

52 min | Documentary, Adventure, Sport

Stephen Redmond has already achieved to swim six channels and straits in six oceans. But only the seventh channel, the Tsugaru Strait between the Japanese main island and Hokkaido, will ... See full summary »

Director: Rouven Blankenfeld | Stars: Stephen Munatones, Stephen Redmond

35. Lane 0 (2017 TV Movie)

70 min | Documentary, Sport | Completed

A feature length documentary about the struggle of a group of swimmers from developing nations trying to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time. A story about pursuing your dreams and overcoming adversity.

Director: Manuel Tera | Stars: Sajan Prakash, Sofia Gadegaard, Aisath Sajina, Miguel López Alvarado

36. Oceans 7 (2018)

87 min | Documentary | Post-production

The story of an extraordinary woman attempting one of the most extreme swimming challenge. As she battles with the dangers of seven seas, her journey takes a dramatic turn.

Director: Stefan Stuckert

37. Raising Matty Christian (2014)

84 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

This inspirational documentary profiles the life of Matthew G. Christian (1983-2009), known as 'Matty' from the town of Canton, Massachusetts, who was born without a full set of arms and ... See full summary »

Director: Christian de Rezendes | Stars: Kevin Foley, Jerry Christian, Michael Christian, Allie Christian

Votes: 31

38. Swim (2008)

54 min | Documentary

To raise funds and awareness for disabled veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Air Force veteran David Broyles and Army officer Rush Vann attempt to become only the 16th and 17th ... See full summary »

Directors: Andy Cockrum, Matt Cook, Chantz Hoover | Stars: David Broyles, Rush Vann

Votes: 9

39. Swim to Africa (2016)


6 swimmers from around the globe attempt to swim from Europe to Africa. A world champion swimmer, a CEO, a cancer patient, a heart attack survivor, an Olympian and a college professor whose... See full summary »

Directors: Brett Drogmund, Howard Hanna | Stars: Amy Aukstikalnis, Brendan Capell, Ky Hurst, Alan Morelli

40. Swim, Santa, Swim! (2014)

48 min | Documentary

Nige Reid is 52, overweight and finds it increasingly difficult to motivate himself to keep fit. He just happens to enjoy dipping his ample torso in the freezing cold water of South ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel van der Molen | Star: Nigel Reid

41. The Black Line (2016)

55 min | Documentary

When reality is bigger than the myth.

Director: Stan Jakubowicz | Stars: Alia Atkinson, Roy Burch, Elvis Burrows, Jim Ellis

42. The Black Shark

Drama | Announced

True life story of paraplegic marathon swimmer Sergio Valencia.

43. The Last Gold (2016)

90 min | Documentary

Narrated by Emmy-winner Julianna Margulies, The Last Gold is a feature-length documentary film that reveals one of the greatest untold stories in Olympic swimming history. Forty years ago, ... See full summary »

Director: Brian T. Brown | Stars: Shirley Babashoff, Wendy Boglioli, Julianna Margulies, Kim Peyton

Votes: 27

47. The Love Goddesses (1965)

87 min | Documentary

This insightful documentary features some of the major and most beautiful actresses to grace the silver screen. It shows how the movie industry changed its depiction of sex and actresses' ... See full summary »

Director: Saul J. Turell | Stars: Carl King, Agnes Ayres, Theda Bara, Brigitte Bardot

Votes: 410

48. The Original Mermaid (2002)

52 min | Documentary

Story of Annette Kellerman, the international swimming vaudeville and silent screen star whose life story inspired the MGM classic Million Dollar Mermaid starring Esther Williams, which ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Cordell, Ana Kokkinos | Stars: Annette Kellerman, Anthony Slide, Frank Thompson, Esther Williams

Votes: 12

50. Kim Swims (2017)

TV-PG | 75 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography

The inspiring true story of an accomplished open water swimmer's attempt to become the first woman to swim 30 miles through a stretch of cold, rough and shark-inhabited waters off of the San Francisco coast.

Director: Kate Webber

Votes: 12

51. Swim the Channel (2016)

59 min | Documentary

In 1875, Captain Matthew Webb - with little more than some brandy, beer and beef tea to keep him going - became the first man to successfully swim from England to France. Since then more ... See full summary »

Directors: Emma Harpin, Stephanie Keelan

52. Swimmer's Ear: A Journey to the Deaflympics (2018)

74 min | Documentary

This movie follows California deaf athletes Jazmin Hernandez and Matt Klotz, both 15 on the road to the most unique, yet underfunded, sporting event in the world. A groundbreaking look at ... See full summary »

Directors: Stephen Fell, Amanda Salem

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