Skip to main content


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)

See also...

Crazy legs conti: Zen and the art of competitive eating

Think you've got what it takes to loom large on the international competitive eating circuit' Like Crazy Legs Conti - a legend in his own lunchbox - you'll have to slurp down 34 dozen oysters at ... More »

year of the yao

Yao Ming is Houston's big man of basketball. The Houston Rockets drafted the seven-foot, six-inch Chinese national in 2002, amid considerable skepticism from the NBA hoops experts. [The Year of the ... More »


It was 1962, when "even Liberace was thought to be straight". On a Saturday night, boxer and hat designer Emile Griffith was fighting champion Benny 'The Kid' Paret in a grudge match at Madison ... More »

kings of the sky

During one of the high-wire performances featured in [Kings of the Sky], witnesses speak of star acrobat Adil Hoxur disappearing into a cloudbank for 20 minutes... while walking along a cable ... More »

unforgivable blackness: the rise and fall of jack johnson

"Even those with a passing knowledge of the tumultuous career of the first black heavyweight boxing champion will be amazed at the depth and range of detail in Ken Burns' irresistibly engrossing ... More »


Somewhere between rugby and the demolition derby is 'murderball'. This is a bone-crushing game of rugby on wheels played by teams of men with limited function in all limbs. ... This riveting ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director