Leave it to the Germans to create some of the greatest swimming films ever... Two in this year!
The first film is being released at The Vancouver Int'l. Film Festival and is on European Television as a documentary:
Channel-Swimmers by Jörg Adolph.
"The English Channel is the most frequented waterway in the world. Each day, more than 500 ships cross its 33 kilometres. There are also a handful of people who consider the Channel their own personal Mount Everest--which is not a bad analogy, until you realize that now many more people have climbed Mount Everest than have managed to swim to the other side of the Channel. Out of the 6,000 attempts only 500 have succeeded.
Once a year a group of men and women meet at Dover on the English coast, awaiting the best moment to make their latest attempt to swim this dangerous stretch of water. All of them are aware of the record for swiftest crossing, made by Chad Hundeby--seven hours, 17 minutes--in 1994, and none is more aware than Christoph Wandratsch, the nominal focus of Jörg Adolph's film. Wandratsch is determined to break the record, and Adolph felt that recording his preparations and his attempt might make for an interesting project. What Adolph got was a lot more than just "interesting." You may never swim without this film in mind again! Somehow the filmmaking has the force of meditation and you can't help but be submerged along with the swimmers. The music by The Notwist is sparingly used, but perfect."
The second film is an extensive;
History of Swimming
The film is a surprise. Beautifully filmed and very entertaining.
Did you know there is such thing as Samurai Swimming in Japan? And that art has been found in ancient caves illustrating swimming activity? Very international in athlete coverage with some fantastic historical footage!
"The critically acclaimed, unique documentary on the history of a Passion.
What motivates people to dive into a raging sea, into a ice-cold river or into the lanes of a modern pool? This two-part history of swimming furnishes a myriad of fascinating answers to these questions.
In the first part, long-distance swimmers conquer the English Channel, race over 25 kilometres or dazzle with their spectacular movements in the Samurai tradition. Since the Stone Age, swimmers have had to overcome many obstacles: such as fear of the deep, the Medieval ban on swimming by the Church, bureaucratic red tape and congenital illnesses.
In the second part, we see how the stopwatch, the perfectly trained body, the coaching philosophy and scientific research into wave patterns have become the new battle fronts in the swimming arena. From imitating frogs to the streamlined crawl stroke, from the cumbersome Victorian bathing costumes to the water-repellent body suits – the development of the modern swimming star has been full of adventures and unexpected turns."
I hope you get a chance to see them if you like swimming. I have the History of Swimming on DVD. But I am looking to capture the Channel Swimmers film in any way possible. Lucky that I have so many German friends to keep a look out for the good movies!