Release Date: August 24th, 2007 (Angelika Film Center) by IFC Films.
Directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Donald Crowhurst, an amateur yachtsman who competed in the first solo, non-stop boat race around the world in 1968. Donald Crowhurst
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Narrated by Tilda Swinton, Deep Water feels thrilling and fascinating as it documents the journey of Donald Crowhurst round the world on a sailing boat. Crowhurst joined eight other yachtsmen who had much more experience than him. His sponsors require him to win the race or else he loses he’ll be bankrupt and be forced to sell his house. So, despite a lot of hesitation the night before, he sets out to the open water all alone. What makes this documentary so amazing is that co-directors Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell hook you in through actually footage from the journey which Crowhurst filmed. A competing yachtsman, Bernard Moitessier, also filmed his own voyage. It’s quite exciting to watch an underdog like Crowhurst try his best to survive and struggle to win out in the treacherous water with so much unpredictable events lay ahead of him. Through access to Crowhurt’s daily log entries and tape recordings, Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell do a great job of humanizing him, especially during critical moments when he feigns his exact location to the media and stops communicating with his wife. The story becomes more and more surprising as it progresses. Interviews with Knox-Johnston, another competitor as well as psychologists and footage of Crowhurt’s wife reacting to her husband’s voyage, help to make this a well-rounded and fascinating documentary without a dull moment.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It takes a bold and courageous man like Donald Crowhurst to risk everything he possesses in order to fulfill his dream, even if he’s unsure about whether or not he can achieve it. This is one of those cases when the means justifies the end rather than the converse of that. Also, it’s interesting how long-term solitude from civilization can change one’s thoughts about oneself and the world—it can even lead to madness.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Exhilarating, thrilling and fascinating.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
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