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Big River Man


John Maringouin

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About the Movie

Martin Strel is an eccentric Slovenian endurance swimmer - an "eco-superhero" who traverses rivers to raise awareness about pollution. In 2007, he attempts his greatest feat yet: to swim 3,375 miles down the mighty Amazon River. While he and his motley crew battle predators, pollution, rapids, and psychological distress, Strel flouts his failing health – refueling on wine, whiskey, and car batteries. As tensions and blood pressure rise, the journey becomes larger-than-life and as strange and profound as Strel himself. Dark, humorous, and stunning, Big River Man is the surreal portrait of an extraordinary man who knows no limits.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 31
  • Fresh: 28
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: As his attention to detail and beauty shots prove, Mr. Maringouin has a terrific eye: he brings you close to Mr. Strel, sometimes within panting distance, without forgetting the larger, lovelier world. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The real drama lies in the sweetly twisted symbiosis between this likable, infuriating wreck of a man and his devoted son and publicist. – Ella Taylor, Village Voice, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Strel is one strange duck, and you can only wonder that Werner Herzog, with his fondness for captivating weirdos, didn't get to him first. – Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: An odd and irresistible documentary about Slovenian strongman Martin Strel and his quest, at 52, to be the first man to swim 5,268 kilometres of the Amazon River. – Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


A great Documentary about a man who swims to bring awareness to people of the world and it's current state but also takes the viewer to dwell into the mind of a father swimming from his demons. Truly great achievements this one man has done and gives us all inspiration that anyone can make a difference.


No plot.

a fabulous ride...

This fellow 'Martin' is a riot! Ya gotta luv him, even if he is a little nuts & swims the worlds' most polluted river. I loved this doc. Well done, lots of work put into it & the music thoughout is great fun. The relationship between father & son is remarkable. The son does an excellent job in telling crazy papa's story, and WHAT A STORY! Classic doc, period!

Big River Man
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Customer Ratings