‘The Swimmers,’ Film on Mardini Sisters, Debuts on Netflix (TRAILER)

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Photo Courtesy: Twitter, @RefugeesOlympic

‘The Swimmers,’ Film on Mardini Sisters, Debuts on Netflix (TRAILER)

“The Swimmers,” a film about the lives of Syrian sisters Sara Mardini and Yusra Mardini, is now available to stream on Netflix.

The film, directed and co-written by Sally El Hosaini for Netflix and Working Title Films, premiered in Toronto in September. It was then screened on the opening night of the 18th Zurich International Film Festival festival on Sept. 22, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix released a theatrical trailer for the film in August.

The film tells the story of the Mardini sisters, who fled Syria’s civil war with their family in 2015. While crossing the Aegean Sea, the motor of the boat they were traveling on died. The sisters, who had trained as swimmers in their home country, helped pilot the boat and its passengers to safety for hours in the water. The family settled in Germany, and Yusra Mardini competed in the 2016 Olympics as part of the Refugee Olympic Team.

The film stars Nathalie Issa and Matthais Schweighofer. El Hosaini co-wrote the screenplay for “The Swimmers” with Jack Throne. In addition to Issa and Schweighofer, the movie stars Ahmed Malek, James Krishna Floyd, Elmi Rashid Elmi, Kinda Alloush and Ali Suliman. Stephen Daldry is the executive producer, with fellow producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (both of Working Title) as well as Ali Jaafar and Tim Cole.

The rare look of swimming on film has garnered some positive reviews, the New York Times calling it, “an inspirational (but rarely sugarcoated) crowd-pleaser.” From rogerebert.com:

El Hosaini’s retelling of the Mardini sisters’ story is a moving tribute to them, to the millions of refugees who risked everything to uproot themselves to safety, and a reminder that many of their stories are still ongoing. It’s the kind of inspirational sports movie that’s about more than just the athlete or the big game. “The Swimmers” is about a cause much bigger than the Olympics and is told on a personal scale that makes the issue accessible and unforgettable.