Netflix has released the trailer for the upcoming film “The Swimmers,” based on a true story. Photo courtesy of Netflix
Sept. 1 (BP) — Netflix on Thursday released the trailer for its upcoming sports drama The Swimmers, which will premiere on the streaming service Nov. 23.
The film will follow the true story of a pair of sisters from war-torn Syria who decide to “embark on a harrowing journey as refugees, putting both their hearts and champion swimming skills to heroic use,” according to Netflix.
The trailer depicts Yusra (Nathalie Issa) and Sara (Manal Issa) as they attempt to cross dangerous waters in an effort to escape Syria, where it is shown that bombing runs are a part of everyday life.
Despite the harrowing conditions, one of the sisters is heard telling the other, “You’re not allowed to give up.”
Eventually, the footage transitions to an Olympic pool, where one of the sisters can be seen raising her fist in triumph.
The Swimmers is based on the story of the real-life Mardini sisters, who, in 2015, crossed the Aegean Sea in an attempt to escape from Syria to Greece.
However, when the engine on their small dinghy stopped working in the middle of the sea, the sisters, who were semi-professional swimmers, were forced to get out and pull the boat through the water for over three hours until they reached the Greek islands.
Once safely in Greece, the sisters would eventually settle in Germany, where Yusra would go on to compete in both the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics under the refugee team.
The Swimmers was directed by Sally El Hosaini, who also penned the project alongside Jack Thorne. Stephen Daldry served as executive producer.
A Welsh-Egyptian filmmaker, El Hosaini won a number of international awards for her 2012 feature film debut My Brother the Devil, including accolades at the Sundance, Berlin, and BFI London Film Festivals.
The film cast the real-life Issa sisters to portray Yusra and Sara. Also starring in The Swimmers is Matthias Schweighöfer and Ahmed Malek.
While it will have its streaming release in November, The Swimmers will first be seen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival this month.
The film will serve as the festival’s Opening Night Gala on Sept. 8, and is expected to generate significant buzz at the festivities.
It is also slated to have its European premiere at the upcoming Zurich Film Festival on Sept. 22.