Is The Swimmers a real story? After the release of the Netflix film, we delve into the story behind the script.
The Swimmers tells the dramatic story of two sisters that have to flee from Damascus in Syria. To escape the war, they must swim the treacherous Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to make it to the Greek island of Lesbos. Their plan is to make it to safety and then take part in the swimming events at the Olympic Games, but their journey is fraught with peril. The sisters board a dinghy to get to Greece, but the engine fails, and they must enter the water for over three hours to stop the boat from tipping over. Their endeavors help save the lives of the others on the boat.
Where can I watch The Swimmers?
The Swimmers is available to watch with a subscription to Netflix.
Who are Yusra and Sara Mardini?
Yusra and Sara Mardini are the two sisters that the film follows on their hazardous journey. They made the decision to flee from the civil war in Syria and arrived in Turkey by plane with the aim of reaching Germany via Greece.
However, things start to go wrong when the dinghy they were sailing on, along with eighteen other people, stalled in the Aegean Sea.
The sisters leave the stranded boat and had to swim for three and a half hours to ensure the safety of the other passengers. The siblings were already skilled swimmers, and their years of training paid off, allowing them to survive the three and a half hours in the ocean.
Aged only 17 and 20 when the incident occurred in 2016, the bravery of the pair resulted in the other passengers staying safe on board the dinghy. The plan the girls had was to escape the war and apply for family reunification when they arrived. The whole journey would take twenty-five days to complete.
Yusra went on to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and now studies film and television production in California. As well as her Olympic performances, Yusra is also a UN Ambassador and an author and has had meetings with Barack Obama and the Pope.
Sara has had a controversial time, spending 107 days in jail on suspicion of trafficking migrants into Greece, along with alleged charges of spying and money laundering. She was released on bail and is currently awaiting a court date to contest the charges.
Is The Swimmers a real story?
Yes, The Swimmers is a real story, as incredible as it is to believe. With the facts as they are, it is no surprise that there was a lot of interest in the movie rights, but the girls were at first hesitant to allow a filmmaker to document their journey. They actually decided against a film being made but eventually relented when they felt the time was right. Originally Yusra would refuse the idea of a movie as she wanted to concentrate on making it to the Olympics. However, when the right team was found to produce the film, it was time for the story to be told. Yusra is played by Lebanese actor Nathalie Issa, and her sister Sara is played by Manal Issa. The two actors are also sisters making them the perfect casting option for this film.