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The Swimmers (2022), a lovely film

Currently airing on Netflix (November 2022)

Sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini fled their home country of Syria in 2015 when their house was destroyed during the civil war.

The film follows 17-year-old Yusra and 20-year-old Sara (played by Nathalie and Manal Issa, respectively) in their simple life in Daraya, Damascus, before it was disrupted by the escalation of Syria’s civil war.

As the effects of war become harder to avoid, Sara convinces her family that she and Yusra, along with their cousin Nizar (Ahmed Malek), should embark on a journey to Germany, where some of their friends have fled to.

During their journey, the sisters arrived in Turkey on a plane and hoped to reach Germany via Greece on a boat. They went up against the chilling waves of the Aegean Sea, when the motor on the overcrowded dinghy carrying 18 other asylum seekers suddenly stalled. The Mardini sisters jumped into the water without hesitating, grabbed hold of the ropes along with two other passengers, and used their lifelong swimming skills to drag everyone to safety. That day, their 45-minute boat ride turned into a three-and-a-half-hour swim (Time Magazine)

A beautifully told story giving enough insight into the plight of refugees to stir hearts whilst skirting the edges of atrocities that refugees encounter en route to safety.

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