Man River Big
Big River Man was the first film I saw at Sundance, only because during a box office visit, members of the crew practically pleaded with us: “Go see Big River Man! It’s Wonderful! Great! Do it!” So we did. And it was AMAZING! It follows 52 year old Martin Strel of Slovenia, the only man to ever swim the Mississippi, Yangtze, and Amazon rivers. Not your typical athlete by any means, he is overweight, old, and drunk most of the time. He regularly drives at high speeds while intoxicated, multitasking by learning English on tape and expanding his lungs with some weird breathing contraption. But you know, if he was a Michael Phelps-type swimmer, this story would be nowhere near as mind-blowing. He’s just a regular guy with a big dream.
I can’t explain how many times my jaw dropped and eyes grew wide during this movie. It’s truly incredible… This guy is hilarious and down to earth, but at the same time it’s like he’s from a whole different world. After watching one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever heard, I couldn’t believe I got to walk down and shake his hand! (Not to mention his son’s hand as well as the navigator’s)… I almost cried I felt so lucky, meeting the greatest swimmer in the world.
Martin Strel braved the incomprable…. decomposing bodies, deadly animals, ancient tribes, and toxic waters. It is truly inspiring to see him conquer the inconquerable.
Walking down main street today, Sam Alex and I encountered the three men selling the book about their Amazonian adventures. They’re three of the nicest guys, for real… We all bought a copy of the book and got to take a picture with them, which was incredible! I seriously can’t believe my luck…
If you can see this movie, I highly recommend that you do it. Immediately, if not sooner. I’ve never seen anything like it. In some way, big or small, it changed me.
Tags: ali mckenna