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Sara and her sister Yusra fled Syria in 2015. When their boat broke down en route to Greece, the competitive swimmers jumped into the water and towed the boat to safety. Their endurance and heroism made headlines all over the world and inspired the feature film The Swimmers. This documentary picks up where the fiction film ended and shows Sara charged with "people smuggling," "money laundering," "espionage" and "membership in a criminal organization" as a result of her work defending the rights of fellow migrants. As she awaits trial, facing a possible 25-year prison sentence for the outrageous crime of doing humanitarian work, she leads a surreal existence in legal limbo. Long Distance Swimmer – Sara Mardini uses dance and underwater sequences to show Sara’s suspension, rage and release, providing her with a platform to sound off against the infuriating hypocrisy of a society and a system that celebrated her as a refugee but then criminalized her as a rescuer. Angie Driscoll

Streaming online May 5-9. Streaming only available in Canada.


  • Director(s)

    • Charly W. Feldman
  • Producer(s)

    • Antje Boehmert
    • Anna von Dziembowska
    • Daniel Druhora
    • Drake Burnette
  • Writer(s)

    • Charly W. Feldman
  • Editor(s)

    • Franziska von Berlepsch
  • Cinematography

    • Zamarin Wahdat
  • Music

    • K River
    • Laurens von Oswald
    • Leopold Faerberboeck
  • Sound

    • Patrick Dadaczynski
    • Greg Oke
  • Visit the film's website

Promotional Partners

Community Partner: Syria Film Festival

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