Thursday, December 15, 2011

Men Who Swim



I recently saw this beautiful little documentary about a group of middle-aged men/misfits in Stockholm look for meaning in their lives by joining a synchronised swimming team. The documentary follows the lives of the team-members as they train for the inaugural All-male Synchronised Swimming World Championships.

This film snuck up on me. At first it seems like a fairly eccentric look at the life of an ex-pat (Welshman and Director Dylan Williams) in Sweden who is seeking to make sense of everything around him as he arrives at middle-age disappointed and frustrated at his hitherto lack of success/fulfilment. However, as the the documentary rolled on, I found myself drawn into the lives of these men - ordinary men, all seeking something extra-ordinary.

The beauty of this film lies in its celebration of the small everyday struggles and victories that life offers up to each of us. The loss of a job. The rueing of youth past. The unexpectedly expensive vet bill. The finding of love. The film holds up these little moments as having one incredibly special thing in common - they are present moments. Through synchronised swimming, this group of men - men who up until now have either looked expectedly to the future, or ruefully to the past for meaning - learn to find meaning in the present moments of their lives.

The trailer doesn't do the film justice at all and the film's distribution is a little sketchy, but if you manage to catch Men Who Swim on a shelf in a dvd store, it's well worth a watch.

1 comment:

Fiona said...

I saw this too... started off laughing (at them) and then fell into inspiration with their commitment to finding, no, creating meaning.

A beautiful little story of simple change making.