“The Swimmers” Movie Review


Opening Netflix on a Friday night can be tricky. There are so many choices, but it is never easy for some strange psychological reason. This is especially true if you, like me last Friday night, are trying to watch a movie with a friend that has seen all the films in the world.

But then, suddenly, we ended up at this movie called “The Swimmers,” and it seemed a pretty good plot: a 2022 biographical drama about the swimming sisters defined as “undeniably powerful” by the Hollywood Reporter. “Let’s watch it,” my friend and I finally agreed.

The story starts in the water because Yustra and Sarah Mardini belong there. From the amniotic fluid of their mother’s womb, they have directly passed into the water of the Olympic pool, which they have practiced for every day since they were just children under the expert eye of their dad. 

Now in 2011, they are young women living in Syria, where bombings and war violence prevent them from swimming. The only thing left is to hold hands with each other and escape from their home country.

They have to face a long journey that puts their lives in danger, but for Syria, there’s no future, and Yusra doesn’t want to give up her dream of going to the Olympics games for the destruction, and the ruin of war and Sarah is her first fan and support. 

Their goal is to go to Germany, where they know a friend who has escaped from Syria before them, but to get there, they have to cross the Mediterranean sea in an overcrowded boat to reach Greece and then illegally travel among Hungary and other European countries.

Between the story of the family, swimming, and the journey, sometimes the story is a bit dispersive, and some scenes and events are improbable, but evaluating the film as a whole, it’s a good one. 

The plot is terribly painful, and everything is even more difficult to digest if we think it is based on the real story of the Mardini sisters. But from all that pain, we can learn many things, especially what refugees have to go through to save their lives. Third-world countries tend to see the topic of “migration” from the point of view of who has to accept those new people in his home country, forgetting everything immigrants have to undergo.

However, the movie is never hopeless. The two sisters’ young souls are reflected in their smiles, combat strength, and the millions of colors of the settings and scenographies. The Swimmers is one of those movies that schools should show their students to the new generations to learn about contemporary history and to inspire them to fight for their freedom and their dreams like Yusra and Sarah Mardini.