Girls On Film

Ep 132: The Swimmers: the story behind the film, with Olympian Yusra Mardini, the director and stars

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Episode notes

Sally El Hosaini joins Anna Smith to discuss her new film The Swimmers and to talk in-depth about compassion and empathy in her work, her filmmaking as a political act, and her journey to become a director. Anna also speaks with the stars of the film, real-life siblings, Nathalie and Manal Issa, as well as one of the women who inspired the film, Yusra Mardini. They talk about their shared experience of being displaced from their homes, and the special relationship between sisters. Based on a true story, The Swimmers follows sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini from their war-torn Syrian home via Germany to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Over the course of their harrowing journey as refugees they put their skills as champion swimmers to heroic use, and this becomes their saving grace. The girls’ story is an uplifting and inspiring look at sisterhood, compassion, bravery and the refugee experience. There’s also a postscript to the film: Sara Mardini is now a humanitarian worker who has been helping refugees in Greece. She has been charged with people smuggling - her trial is currently on hold: The Swimmers is in select UK cinemas now and will be available globally on Netflix from 23rd November. For more information on refugees, and on some of the charities that aid those who are displaced, click the below links: Other films mentioned in this episode include: My Brother The Devil, Sally El Hosaini, 2012 Become a patron of Girls On Film on Patreon here: Follow us on socials: Watch Girls On Film on the BFI’s YouTube channel:…L89QKZsN5Tgr3vn7z Girls On Film is an HLA production. Host: Anna Smith Executive Producer: Hedda Archbold Producer: Lydia Scott Audio Producer: Elliana Jay Harmer Intern: Ellie Hardy House band: MX Tyrants This episode is in partnership with The Swimmers