Big River Man (2009)
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Critic Reviews for Big River Man
Strel is one strange duck, and you can only wonder that Werner Herzog, with his fondness for captivating weirdos, didn't get to him first.
An odd and irresistible documentary about Slovenian strongman Martin Strel and his quest, at 52, to be the first man to swim 5,268 kilometres of the Amazon River.
As his attention to detail and beauty shots prove, Mr. Maringouin has a terrific eye: he brings you close to Mr. Strel, sometimes within panting distance, without forgetting the larger, lovelier world.
The real drama lies in the sweetly twisted symbiosis between this likable, infuriating wreck of a man and his devoted son and publicist.
Audience Reviews for Big River Man
So why on earth do we not know about Martin Strel outside of this film? He is likely one of the most fascinating people that you will encounter. An overweight alcoholic who somehow manages to find the endurance to swim major rivers. The tale is marvellous.
Great doc about Martin Strel, an endurance swimmer who attempts to swim the amazon. Narrated by his son, the film takes an unexpected turn into madness as Martin spends day after day swimming. His navigator Matt is the perfect Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now.
An interesting documentary mainly because of its interesting subject, the man and the challenge. However I wish I got to hear more from Martin himself and not his son. The moments when Martin was speaking to the camera, I found him to inspirational and to clearly have a strong opinion about the things he cared about. I found myself wanting though afterwards. Also, at times the film felt very staged, and if this was supposed to come off as comedic then it succeeded but I wasn't quite sure that was the point. The cinematography was also supposed to be great, and at times it did have some wonderful images of nature, and the trip but as a whole it felt amateur. Overall though I return to my first point just wishing there was more of Martin.
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