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Big River Man

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Dec 07, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In February 2007, Martin Strel began an insane attempt to be the first person to swim the entire length of the world's most dangerous river, the mighty Amazon. Martin is an endurance swimmer from Slovenia, who swims rivers - the Mississippi, the Danube and the Yangtze to date - to highlight their pollution to the world. Martin is also a rather overweight, horseburger loving Slovenian in his fifties who drinks two bottles of red wine a day... even when swimming.


The pivotal figure in the excellent American documentary Big River Man, from the resourceful young director John Maringouin (his only other feature is Running Stumbled ), has so much personality it s a wonder he fits on the screen. --Manohla Dargis, NY Times

Followers of Maringouin's impressive, disturbing feature debut, "Running Stumbled," may not spot the filmmaker's touch in the brightly amusing first 30 minutes, but gradually, as the 52-year-old Martin ventures deep downstream and flirts with his physical limits, the disorienting strangeness of "Running" seeps into "Big River Man," resulting in something much darker than a merely amusing promo reel for the Slovenian swimmer. --Robert Koehler, Variety

People don't get much more documentary-worthy than Martin Strel... film-maker John Maringouin could hardly fail to come up with a good story. In the event, he got an absolute epic, in which Strel loses his marbles and insists on keeping swimming despite severe risks to his physical health. --4 Stars, Edward Porter, London Times

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Strel, Borut Strel, Matthew Mohlke
  • Directors: John Maringouin
  • Producers: John Maringouin, Maria Florio, Molly Lynch
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: IndiePix Films
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,175 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Big River Man" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie/documentary truly follows the journey of a passionate individual and his dedciation to draw attention to the destrcution of our major rivers and the environment. He is quirky and eccentric but the fil shows hnow driven he is to accomplish his goals regardless of the dangers to hisself.
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By P.Ilou on September 5, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like Herzog's Grizzly Man movie the line between documentary and fiction can be blurred. Here how can a fatso booze, not sink and swim so well as the narrator wonders himself and casts doubt...Nonetheless I bought the DVD to ask my friends to see it and tell me their verdict. If it's not faked, why is the swimmer not more known? Not photogenic enough? Camera shy? Embarrassing re on our own selfishness and little comfort.
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Format: DVD
The blurb on the DVD jacket that I received described this movie as, 'Riotously Funny!'

I didn't find it funny at all. It was touching, inspiring and entertaining -- but not funny. The film takes a serious turn when we learn that Strel was constantly beaten as a boy. To escape his father, he would jump into a stream/river near his house and swim away. Thus began his life-long obsession with swimming. Watching the movie, you get the sense that he is still trying to get away from that long-gone villain.

He says he undertakes long-distance swims to highlight pollution. While admirable, I don't believe that's the reason. Every adventurer is faced with naysayers. People ask, "But, why?" They say, "I don't get it." They say, "It's just a publicity stunt." No response satisfies them. So it's necessary to come up with a logical, practical explanation -- like highlighting pollution, or raising money for cancer, and so on.

But Martin Strel is just a good old fashioned adventurer with a troubled past and some health issues. Simple as that. Oh, and he loves whiskey.
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