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Germany, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Zero to Hero: Survival of the Fittest)

Director: Joerg 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 Mt Everest - which is not a bad analogy, until you realise that many more people climb Mt Everest each year than have ever managed to swim the Channel. Out of the 6000 attempts only 500 have succeeded. [Channel-Swimmers] accompanies three swimmers during their quests to swim across the English Channel. Once a year a group meets at Dover, awaiting the perfect conditions to make their latest titanic attempt. All of them are aware of the record for swiftest crossing - seven hours, 17 minutes - none more so than Christoph Wandratsch. Wandratsch is determined to break the record, but as Channel legend Kevin Murphy (32 successful attempts!) tells him, no matter what preparation you do, you can never be fully prepared for the incredible hardships of the crossing. A beautiful, meditative and multi-layered documentary, [Channel-Swimmers] explores the very limits of human endeavour.
Jorg Adolph P Gabriele Walther, Freidrich Steinhardt WS Caligari Film L German w/English subtitles TD video/col/2004/92mins Jorg Adolph's films include [On/Off the Record] (2002), [Channel-Swimmers] (MIFF 05)

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