Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Deep Water

Deep WaterWe checked a movie out of the library a couple weeks ago and finally got around to watching it this weekend and I thought it was definitely worthy of mention.

If you ever saw Touching the Void (another documentary I'd recommend, it's the amazing story of a pair of mountain climbers who have an adventure in the Andes that you will not believe) you'd be interested in Deep Water which tells another true story that is as inspirational and fascinating but in quite a different and more unusual way.

In 1968 the Sunday Times Golden Globe, a British newspaper, sponsored a race to circumnavigate the world in a sailboat without stopping. This had nearly been accomplished but with with a stop in Sydney, Australia. This time it was to be done without touching land and it was open to anyone with a boat and a year of free time to dedicate. About ten sailors signed up to try for the 5,000-pound prize money.

Donald CrowhurstDonald Crowhurst, happily married and with four children, was a businessman who sold sailing equipment and as an amateur sailor he decided that the prize money was the solution to his troubled finances. Leveraging everything he had for the journey, Crowhurst set out in a newly constructed trimaran, determined to win the money and glory and convinced that despite his inexperience and awkward vessel he would do it.

So Crowhurst and about nine others set out within a fourth-month period to see who could sail the distance first as well as who could do it the fastest. I can't give out many details because it would ruin the wonder of the story but I'll say that it's an emotional study in decision making, the pressure to succeed and provide, greed, reason, goal-setting, hubris, and the human psyche.

The film is effectively narrated by newspaper reporters who followed the story, Donald's wife Clare Crowhurst, businessmen who financed Donald's voyage and others from the race. If you've got a couple of hours and an interest in what makes human beings tick (or tock as the case may be--some people aren't quite in sync with the rest of the crowd) then this would be the movie for you.

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9 comments:

Robin said...

A year of your life for a 5,000 pound award? Doesn't sound like all that good an incentive to me, not to mention a way out of real financial trouble.

The journey, and the movie, sound fascinating though.

Edi said...

Would you believe that I have seen both movies you mentioned in the past 2 months? We enjoyed them both...amazing stories...I watched Touching the Void while recovering from my broken ankle so it was particularly grueling to think of all the guy with the severely broken leg went through...

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

I don't know how I missed these two! I am usually the first one to catch movies like these based on a true story. I will have to head to my video story and see if they have them. Thanks for the recommendation.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

JENNIFER said...

I love documentaries....and especially ones that make me wonder....by the way have you ever read Deep Survival by Laurence Ganzales? If you are ever bored you should check it out...I think you might like it :)

Scribbit said...

Well you have to remember that 5000 in 1968 is the equivalent of 52,000 in 2005. So not quite as shabby though not quite worth the risk in my book.

dining room sets said...

Sounds it is a great movie! I think the movie is something one should watch since it looks like it is very inspiring.

Lori said...

My daughter and I have been watching Nova Science quite a bit together, and this sounds like maybe a documentary that she would like, being a fan of tsunamis. But I wonder if you would recommend it for a four year old? She loves to read about the ocean, but then the things she reads makes her flip out when we go to the beach, due to several family deaths she has issues with mortality. Should this be a mom/dad film?

Christine said...

Lori, I've not seen the movie but it does look a bit intense...speaking as a mom of a 4 and a 5 year old. Although I guess it really depends on the child. I myself love films like this! Stories of real-life adventure are such a welcome departure from fiction.

K said...

Based on your recommendation, my husband and I borrowed these movies from the library. We watched Touching the Void last week and we're still talking about it. We agreed that although it is an amazing story, it was definitely NOT inspirational. I'm pretty sure it was the statement the guy made about the moment he decided that there was no God. How could he go through the rest of his life knowing he was a hairsbreadth from death and honestly believe that he was just really lucky? This movie wouldn't get my vote for Feel Good Movie of the Year. For that, see Penelope!
Just my opinion,
Karen