Deep Water (2006)
In 1968 the Sunday Times of London sponsored a race to see who could circumnavigate the globe—solo and without stopping. Prizes were offered for the one who finished first and the one who finished fastest. Nine sailors entered the race, but this documentary film focuses on three contestants in particular—Robin Knox-Johnston, who finished first by averaging 92 miles a day for 312 days (28,704 miles) and who appears in the film; the Frenchman Bernard Moitessier, who turned around just before finishing, forsaking fame and fortune for the isolation of the sea, and sailed an additional 10,000 miles to Tahiti (his book The Long Way tells his story); and then the amateur sailor and eccentric Donald Crowhurst who never should have entered the race under any circumstances. His bizarre story forms the real narrative of this film. It's difficult to say more without spoiling this film, but you can be sure that it's more of an exploration of the deep waters of the human psyche than an adventure tale. Interviews with family members and friends; archival film footage; news reels; diaries, audio tapes, 16mm film and ship logs by the sailors; and still photos lend authenticity to the pathos of this deeply human story. Two of the film's producers were John Smithson and Paul Trijbits who made Touching the Void.