Jack Thorne Peter Debruge Germany Syria film song Dreams Jack Thorne Peter Debruge Germany Syria

‘The Swimmers’ Review: Hope Floats in This Mostly True Story of Refugee Sisters From Syria

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Peter Debruge Chief Film Critic At the end of “The Swimmers,” you could be excused for thinking that Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini won an Olympic gold medal.

She didn’t. That’s not to detract from everything she and her older sister, Sara, went through to escape the Syrian civil war and reclaim their dreams of competitive swimming.

It just means that director Sally El Hosaini and co-writer Jack Thorne didn’t know how else to wrap this inspirational true story, which is ideally suited for one of those 40-minute Oscar-grubbing documentary shorts but is stretched over three times that length (and then some) in this feel-good Toronto Film Fest opener.

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