Big River Man
Marathon endurance swimmer Martin Strel is the Captain Bad Example of extreme sports, attributing his stamina to a diet of horse burgers and alcohol. The raucous beer-bellied Slovenian has swum the length of the Mississippi and survived the toxic wastes that stream into the Yangtze. At 52, he's ready for the Amazon.
His English-speaking son/manager/spin doctor Borut accentuates environmental awareness and raises sponsorship. Filmmaker John Maringouin follows as the Strels and their self-taught American navigator prepare for piranhas and penis-invading parasites, and embark on the 3274-mile swim. As Strel Snr succumbs to sunburn, spurns doctor's instructions and knocks back whisky like it's a sports drink, he becomes as demented as any of Herzog's Amazon adventurers, and twice as bizarre to behold – a white-masked monster muscling down the mighty currents. Superbly photographed and with an ecstatic operatic score, the film glories in the Amazon's primeval splendour and one man's indomitability, but with an ear tuned to the siren call of oblivion. (Souce: NZ International Film Festival)