Feature

Deep Water

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.

Rating: PG

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