Big River Man (15)

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The Independent Culture

Martin Strel, a fiftysomething Slovenian, is a chronic gambler, drink-driver and part-time teacher of Flamenco guitar who also happens to be the world's greatest endurance swimmer.

Having swum the Danube, the Mississippi and the Yangtze River, in 2007 he took on all 3,274 miles of the Amazon, despite the threat of crocs, piranhas and pollution. Filmed by his son and assistant Borut, this chronicle of his swim is fuzzy and flaky: the implication is that Strel, exhausted and delirious from his efforts, suffered a mental breakdown. His story requires a comparable narrator: one wonders what Werner Herzog might have done with it.