An eccentric English sailor undertakes a solo circumnavigation of the globe.
'œIf you want to know why documentaries are increasingly capturing audiences' imaginations,' see Deep Water, said Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. You could never make up such an outlandish story. Sunday sailor Donald Crowhurst entered a 1968 contest to be the first to complete a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of Earth. He didn't get very far, but didn't give up, either. Instead, he dreamed up a scheme to cheat, one 'œthat got so wildly out of hand that it ensnared the dreamer in an intricate trap of his own devising.' The directors draw on the Englishman's own films and audio recordings to place us inside his addled mind. The obsessed, insane Crowhurst seems like a character from a Joseph Conrad novel, said Robert Koehler in The Christian Science Monitor. Faced with the infinite horizons of the sea, he begins a 'œdescent into the extremes of human will, self-delusion, and madness.' Deep Water, like Werner Herzog's recent Grizzly Man, is a reminder of how encounters with Mother Nature can bring out unsettling aspects of human nature. Personally, I didn't find Crowhurst particularly fascinating, said Julia Wallace in The Village Voice. Who can feel sympathy for an incompetent nut? More heartbreaking are present-day interviews with his wife, 'œa sad-eyed Penelope' who sheds light on the tragic life story of an average guy with a thirst for glory.