About the Film
Four-time world record-holding endurance swimmer Martin Strel attempts to swim all 3,375 miles of the mighty Amazon River as filmmaker John Maringouin follows him on every stroke of his treacherous and fantastic journey. Over the course of 66 grueling days, the hard-drinking 52-year-old Strel draws on sheer willpower to accomplish his lofty goal as a hand-picked group of faith-healers, outsiders, and friends cheer him along from the shoreline. The resulting film not only focuses on the trials that Strel endured on his record-breaking swim, but also draws much-needed attention to the Amazon Rainforest-a landscape that faces an uncertain future due to the combined stresses of progress and pollution.
As his attention to detail and beauty shots prove, Mr. Maringouin has a terrific eye: he brings you close to Mr. Strel, sometimes within panting distance, without forgetting the larger, lovelier world. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times