The film follows Slovenian endurance swimmer Martin Strel as he attempts the longest and most dangerous swim in history -- to swim the Amazon river. Accompanied by raconteur director John Maringouin, his worried son Borut and thoreauvian river guide Matthew Mohlke, Strel battles crocodiles, deadly parasites, piranhas and finally himself in the 3300 mile swim.Written by
This is one of the most bizarre documentaries I've ever seen. Its not a well made film by any means. It looks rather amateur and it is edited and executed like they've just cracked the box open on Final Cut Pro. But the strange thing about this doco is that it's entirely compelling. It chronicles one middle-aged man's determination to swim the length of the Amazon river... a fete never attempted. Its a river full of countless dangers; piranha, anacondas, alligators, parasites, whirlpools and Amazonian natives to name just some. The film begins in a very hokey manner which basically has it's subject, Martin Strel, prancing around like a drunken imbecile. I found this irritating as if they're declaring to the world "We're from Slovenia, aren't we weird?"... but once the marathon swim begins, the movie is captivating. As days begin to meld into each other the story begins to resemble something from Apocalypse Now as Strel slowly slips into madness and delirium. A lot of the editing is forced and unnecessary but the overall journey is well worth watching. As the end credits began to roll it was strange to see Olivia Newton-John's name pop up as a producer. I am guessing she came on board after the fact to help fund it's distribution. Whatever... its a really peculiar movie!
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