For preview only. Get it at

Big River Man

Ratings: 7.86/10from 7 users.

Big River ManIn February 2007 Martin Strel began an insane attempt to be the first person to swim the entire length of the world's most dangerous river, the mighty Amazon.

Martin is an endurance swimmer from Slovenia, who swims rivers - the Mississippi, the Danube and the Yangtze to date - to highlight their pollution to the world.

Martin is also a rather overweight, horseburger loving Slovenian in his fifties who drinks two bottles of red wine a day... even when swimming.

Unsettling, fascinating and exhilarating. John Maringouin plots a course for the heart of darkness in the company of a 52 year old Slovenian endurance swimmer.

More great documentaries

32 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Ethan Trainor

    Screw Kony 2012. Lets make this guy famous. Truely inspiring man and story. I loved every minute of it!

  2. MrMikeunderscore

    This is one of the best Docs I've seen in a long time, funny, informative and moving, it has it all.

  3. bionara

    Sort of has a Spinal Tap feel to it, doesn't it?!

    Great effort though. Great awareness raising too. Makes me want to take a dip in the Thames if it'll help the cause (I don't think it would take 67 days in there for insanity to kick in though!).

  4. Mario Hartner

    I can say nothing else but great respect to this man. He has shown us the strength of human body and the weakness of our mind.

    Martin is a modest man, slightly different from others and courageous. I think 99,999999999% of people on this world do not have the courage to do something like this. Respect...

    Hoping for more people and achievements like this.

  5. PavolvsBitch

    A true 'olympian'; setting no-one else's standards but his own. Yet, whilst truly demonstrating 'the change you wish you see' he was also courting mega cattle ranchers (big mack) largely responsible for rainforest clearance. Such cognitive dissonance drives us all insane and when the results of such punishment meant reality was entering the picture, the media switched lenses and Martin, together with his Amazonian feat faded away.

    As for getting the message across to the corporatocracy, they hear but they don't GAF.

  6. Imightberiding

    Absolutely astounding. This man's accomplishments almost defy belief. The whole Apocalypse Now, Colonel Kurtz, Brando, Heart of Darkness thing was a bit over the top. Red haired goatee guy was also very annoying at the best of times. With that said, I can see that the mental stress would almost certainly be more grueling than the physical endurance. I have no doubt that any one spending 2 or 3 months on the Amazon, let alone swimming its length would have more than one epiphany. Unfortunate that his PR Team wasn't more successful at gaining more publicity & attention.

    Worth watching & very inspiring if any one is looking for any opinions on spending your time with this film.

  7. Steve Howard

    Hmm, I wonder if maybe Matt and Martin got a hold of some Yage during the trip? Also, eerie how much some of his facial expressions look like Marlon Brando's in Apocalypse Now. Still, an amazing achievement. Very inspiring. In a world as screwed up as the one we live in I guess our heroes have to be a little messed up too.

  8. Matthisle

    The cost for the boat rent was 15.000$ and the whole trip didn't even reach 25 grand. It's in Matthew Mohlke's book - The man who swam the Amazon. Of course he had sponsors.
    Martin was beaten in a swimming challenge by a local comedian S. Hribar.
    It's a cool film tho.

  9. Craig Puff-Dragon

    why would you question it more to the point why would he fake it the cost involved here would be astronomical for a solo swimmer not to mention the whole point of having a dream pointless to fake it and dont you think some sort of official would have been sent to watch the whole trip .................. what a story and an adventure well worth a watch THE BIG QUESTION IS DID THE POINT OF THE TRIP GET ACROSS !

  10. Aaylsworth

    This was very good. Enjoyed every minute of it! :)

  11. Matthisle

    I don't know... a lot of people claim he's a fraud. Yeah sure, he was there, but who knows how much time he actually spent aboard the ship, enjoying a great holiday. I mean think about it - 2 months of continious swimming and he's just as big boned as on the first day... no visible difference. I know he's a good swimmer, but I don't buy this. Oh and horse burgers are a very rare thing here in Slovenia.

    1. Jurij

      that is beside the point. a normal person would not swim for extended periods of time in those waters, that is for sure. downplaying an achievement like that is just... retarded, it wasn't a competition and he did not get rich or anything.

    2. Matthisle

      Don't mistake a dose of healthy skepticism for 'downplaying', everyone is entitled to an opinion.
      R*tarded? That's possible, but blindly believing every story you hear isn't exactly the peak of mental capacity either.
      I don't at all despise Martin, he's either a great endurance swimmer or a great con man, in either case - he's great. I'm looking forward for him airing on Stan Lee's Superhumans show.

    3. Mario Hartner

      I think everyone that followed his life story for a couple of year now since he started swimming the biggest rivers in the world and the ones that are close to him know he is not a fraud. There is no reason for him to be one, he was in no competition, not going for Guiness record, not gathering donations for any cause or looking for confirmation of society. He does not give a f*** for this things.

      He is just a simple man with great determination who wanted to do something different in his life. Nothing less, nothing more.

      Great respect to him and people alike. For you and some others that think he is fraud I'd recommend that you look your self in the mirror and think why are you so distrusfull... Perhaps because you'll never have the courage to do anything so outstanding in your life and you cannot comprehend how one person can do so awkward and extreme things.

      If only more people would be like Martin the world would be a nicer place.

    4. Matthisle

      Dear Mario,
      I don't know where to begin, but I can't thank you enough. At first I wanted to go explain why I see this the way I see it, but then it hit me. I read your reply again and actually went along with it and looked myself in the mirror. It suddenly all synced in. A weave of profound clarity and wisdom dispelled the dark cloud of ignorance in my head. It was like a huge invisible load has been taken off my shoulders. How could I have ever been so distrustful? I see things from an entirely different perspective now and I'll never question anything again. I re-watched the documentary and decided I'll devote my life to living in Martin's image to make the world a nicer place. I'm beginning my alcoholism routine first thing tomorrow and I'll drive drunk as well. I might even drop the whole vegan nonsense and start eating horses. Heck, I may even jump into a river to show everyone the amount of ****'s I give.
      You sir, changed my life!

  12. Deejay Es

    damn whisky sipping in the amazon river as an 50 year old guy


  13. Steve11034

    Great documentary! from the story of martin's life, his childhood,his lifestyle, and paralelling struggles against himself his mind and body and the natural barriers involved in swiming the seemingly endless Amazon!

  14. Guest

    This man has obviously never watched River Monsters.

  15. His Forever

    Tell me at least he gets eaten by a crocodile at least and I'll consider watching it. Az says he "pushes the limits", so I have all these really unsettling metal images that COULD possible happen--but unfortunately none involve a crocodile, but rather a fat man in tight spidos.

    1. Guest

      Are you looking for something to watch ? The Beckoning Silence is the best of the new bunch.

    2. His Forever

      I was born nervous, firthy4fourty. I empathize and feel what others feel almost to an extreme. I'm gritting my teeth even now thinking about being trapped on a mountain in any way shape or form, in fact! I can't hardly take suspenseful movies, but oddly enough, I like action movies if they aren't too scary. I'll contemplate watching it, however, but "bouncers" sounds a lot less stressful. After watching that documentary on "Stress: The Silent Killer" I keep thinking: "I'm dying slowly here and you're not helping!" whenver I get overly stressed with someone/something which is often lately. ;-) How stessful and dramatic could "bouncers" be? LOL It better not make me cry!

    3. Guest

      I really think if you stay with this one til the end, you will be amazed at his determination.

    4. His Forever

      Az: Ok. I'll watch this doc as I have time. Now in this ailing economy, I currently have more students than I have time to teach----good for the income-- I'm very blessed, but boy am I stressed! I doubt I'll get to watch even one doc a month unless I stay up late and would rather watch a doc than . . . have sex, or sleep, or do anything else life offers outside this silly little "box life" we call online!

    5. Guest

      The most scary is when he takes off swimming on his own at for the rest it's all in his head, in his guts.

  16. Sieben Stern

    loved the Lipizzaner horse demonstration - all i could think of was DANCING HORSEBURGERS!

    also, is it just me, or does he look like Mr.Incredible? XD

  17. drinker69

    Watch your penis broseph!

    1. Guest

      The one eye worm alright!

  18. Guest

    I would LOVE to follow this man on the Niger River with my camera. But frankly i don't know if i could stand it.
    He pushes the limit like i have rarely seen.

  19. Guest

    This is the best doc. I haven't seen anything as inspiring as this in a long long time. I truly believe this guy touched something very close to the answer...very very ****ennnnn close....not quite finished but couldn't hold it until the end.

  20. Brandon Beaith

    I loved this is this guy not more famous?

    1. nebra

      because he is from Slovenia :)