After opening the Toronto International Film Festival this September, Sally El Hosaini’s The Swimmers is finally coming to Netflix on Nov. 23. The streaming giant released the emotional trailer for the refugee drama this week.
Based on a true story, the compelling feature follows the journey of two young sisters, Yusra and Sara Mardini, who fled war-torn Syria in 2015 only to find themselves at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil the following year. Aboard a boat heading to Greece from Turkey, their progress towards peace and safety was halted when the ship started sinking. For over three hours, the two sisters put their swimming skills to heroic use, protecting the rest of the passengers as they made their way to the closest shore.
The duos’ fearlessness and bravery were rapidly picked up by media outlets around the world, making headlines cross-continently, to spotlight their story, highlight their valor and almost unbelievable achievement. Shortly after, Yusra was drafted to compete at Rio’s 2016 Olympic Games, representing the Refugee Team in the international competition.
Co-produced by Netflix, alongside London-based agency Working Title Films, the above-mentioned journey from trauma to triumph was adapted to the screen by the Egyptian-Welsh filmmaker, alongside multi-award-winning screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne. The film features Nathalie and Manal Issa, who happen to be sisters in real life, to portray the Syrian siblings onscreen.
However, before it hits our screens, The Swimmers will make its regional premiere at the 44th Cairo International Film Festival taking place from Nov. 13 to 22.