I came to Sundance eagerly anticipating this one after reading an article about the most bizarre world record holding athlete. Martin Strel is an overweight Slovenian alcoholic who is the greatest endurance swimmer in the world. Big River Man documents this intriguing concoction through Strel’s greatest feat yet: swimming the entire length of the Amazon river.
Director John Maringouin and his crew followed Strel throughout the entire journey beginning in Slovenia where Strel trained. It is there that we are able to get the foundation for the entire film. Eastern European hilarity ensues as the audience gets a look into the life of this unique man. We see him eat at his favorite horse burger joint, then partake in classic Slovenian multitasking by driving drunk while listening to beginner English tapes and practicing breathing using a device to expand his lungs. The tone is set. (more…)