Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

Channel Swimmers 2004


Directed by Jorg Adolph

Will they make it? This up-close documentary account of three attempts to swim from Dover to France has us rooting for the marathon swimmers, and provides full immersion in channel swimmer lore.

Germany In English and German with English subtitles
92 minutes DigiBeta



Luigi Falorni


Anja Pohl


The Notwist


Vancouver 2004


Many more people have climbed Mount Everest than have managed to swim the English Channel: out of 6,000 attempts approximately 500 have been successful. Every summer aspirants congregate at Dover, awaiting the best moment to assay the freezing waters, the sweeping currents, the sudden squalls. Filmmaker Jörg Adolph gets among them and comes close to understanding why they do it. His bracing, up-close accounts of three particular attempts have us rooting for the marathon swimmers, and provide full immersion in channel swimmer lore. The film begins at the deep end: in the sea off France, with a swimmer struggling at the end of his stamina. We subsequently accompany an aging Channel veteran in a valiant attempt to cross; then a young German swimmer’s impressively honed assault on the 7hr 17min record.

“You may never swim without this film in mind again! Somehow the filmmaking has the force of meditation and you can’t help but be submerged along with the swimmers in a completely ‘other’ element.” — Vancouver Film Festival