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BIG RIVER MAN (M)

USA, 2009 (MIFF 2009, Documentaries)

Director: John Maringouin

“A close cousin to Werner Herzog's wilder non-fiction tales.” - Variety

Martin Strel is an endurance swimmer who has swum the Mississippi, the Danube and the Yangtze rivers - and now the fifty-something Slovenian has the Amazon in his sights.

Strel's 66-day journey is equal parts personal quest, performance art and consciousness-raising stunt - he swims to draw attention to pollution and deforestation. But this larger-than-life character has his own demons to battle, not least an absurdly unhealthy dietary regime (he hydrates on whiskey and beer) and an increasingly strained relationship with his son.

As Strel's swim transitions from sports feat into travelling sideshow, John Maringouin (Running Stumbled, MIFF 06) captures the many nuances of this extraordinary journey through the stunning beauty of the Peruvian rainforests.

D John Maringouin P Mario Florio, Molly Lynch, John Maringouin, Kevin Ragsdale, Molly Hassell Dist Umbrella Entertainment TD digibeta/2009

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