Anna Smith (Girls on Film podcast) and Savina Petkova (MUBI Notebook, Little White Lies) join Flixwatcher remotely to review Anna’s choice The Swimmers.

The Swimmers is a 2022 biographical film directed by Sally El Hosaini that tells the incredible true story of Syrian refugee sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini (played by real life sisters Nathalie and Manal Issa).

The film begins in Damascus with both Yusra and Sarah as aspiring Olympic swimmers, against the backdrop of bombs their normal life is changed forever. With their cousin they leave Syria and take the perilous boat journey across the Aegean Sea in a dingy. When the boat is overloaded Yusra and Sarah swim alongside the boat to prevent it from sinking and saving the other refugees lives. Their journey to Germany continues overland and they eventually arrive Berlin where Yusra meets Sven who helps her to achieve her Olympic dream.

The Swimmers is an unusual mix of incredible real-life story (the boat crossing) and underdog sports story (Yusra’s participation in the 2016 Olympics) which makes for a slightly uneven film. The film also takes a number of creative license decisions that lean towards a more Hollywood approach. Scores for The Swimmers were very high across all categories giving a very impressive overall score of 4.09.


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Episode #294 Crew Links

Thanks to Episode #294 Crew of Anna Smith (@annasmithjourno) and Savina Petkova (@SavinaPetkova)

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More about The Swimmers

For more info on The Swimmers, you can visit The Swimmers IMDb page here or The Swimmers Rotten Tomatoes page here.

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