Sunday, 10 May 2009

Hot Docs 2009 Day 8 - Thursday May 7, 2009

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The orderly line moves in to the Bader for Big River Man

Day 8 was a bit of a quite day as I only went to 1 film at the festival but it certainly made an impression! Rather watch that read? Check out my Day 8 (and 9) Vlog.

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Big River Man director John Maringouin (left)

Big River Man
Dir: John Maringouin
USA

Big River Man is a documentary following Slovenian endurance swimmer Martin Strel's attempt to swim the Amazon River. Suprized you hadn't heard about this near impossible feat? So was I. In fact, that is one of the points they make in film by showing that people aren't necessarily aware of believe his previous mammoth swims across not only the Mississippi River but also the Yangtze. The film is narrated by Martin's son, who organizes the quest on every level and keeps us aware of the dangers that round every corner of the river in and out of the water. Martin himself is a marvel of a man being not your typical athlete, at 53 and a heavy drinker but he can also swim 4km/hour. The journey is not an easy one, and even though there was a doctor on board to monitor his health, I still found it quite scary to see them push forward at times. But, it truly reinforces the message he wishes to bring to people which is to dream big and go for their goals.

Big River Man website

Highlights from the Q&A with Big River Man director John Maringouin:
- the film was funded by Olivia Newton John
- there were a lot of close calls, daily, especially with the whirlpools
- about 40 minutes of the film was scored specifically to the film

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival runs from April 30- May 10, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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