Saturday, March 28, 2009

Anything is Possible - Open Water Movies

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Welcome, a French movie released in March 2009, is a story about a young Kurdish refugee in France who emmigrates to England by swimming across the English Channel. The adventure across the English Channel is interspersed between two love stories and a struggle against immigration laws, red tape and enforcement.

The bilingual French- and English-language trailer can be seen here.

A film from the other side of the Channel is On A Clear Day. This British movie came out in 2005 whose plot is described by Focus Features:

After decades of laboring as a Glasgow shipbuilder, Frank Redmond, a no-nonsense 55-year-old working-class man, suddenly finds himself laid off. For the first time in his life, he is without a job or a sense of direction, and he's too proud to ask for guidance.

His best mates - rascally Danny, timid Norman and cynical Eddie - are there for him, but Frank still feels desperately alone. An offhand remark from Danny inspires Frank to challenge himself. Already contemplating the state of his relationships with loving wife Joan and all-but-estranged son Rob, Frank is determined to shore up his own self-confidence.

He will attempt the near impossible - swimming the English Channel. As Frank plunges headlong into his new daily life, his astonished friends are swept along with him. Prodded by stalwart fish-and-chips shop owner Chan, the men support Frank, train him - and keep their goal secret from his wife and son. Frank is unable to confide in those closest to him, but as the big day and moment of truth draw near, there is a sea change. Frank's family confronts him, and he realizes that he must repair his strained family ties. As Frank and those closest to him discover - or re-discover - reserves of love and compassion, he realizes that he is also swimming from one part of his life to another.

Two Swimmers, a 23-minute British documentary released in 2007 that explores the bond between an athlete and his coach as they attempt the English Channel in 2005 and the dramatic events that follow.

With his swimmer struggling, the coach jumps into the Channel to swim last 100 meters to the French shore.

Together they completed their challenge, but as they returned to the boat, the coach has a sudden heart attack and died in Tim's arms.

As director Steven Sander described about his film, "Rarely are challenges in life achieved alone and I hope that a little of the intense spirit of cooperation and the coach/athlete bond is conveyed in this film."

The trailer of Two Swimmers can be seen here.


Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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