Chasing Bubbles

Chasing Bubbles

Ratings: 8.58/10 from 153 users.

There's a lot to admire about Alex Rust. His life was guided by an irrepressible free spirit, a genuine fondness for people and an insatiable curiosity about the world around him. But his ambitions for adventure frequently outweighed his skills of reason in the face of great risk. This ultimately contributed to his tragic death at the age of 28 while in the midst of a sailing expedition across the globe, but it also gave his life a fullness of meaning that eludes most of us.

The gripping documentary Chasing Bubbles chronicles each step of his journey utilizing candid interviews with his closest friends, family members, and travelling companions, as well as the library of stunning footage he captured along the way.

Alex found great success in the professional world as a day trader on the stock market, but he soon realized that the 9 to 5 lifestyle didn't suit him. Burdened by the death of his father, and restless for a greater sense of purpose, he bought a modest sailboat he named Bubbles and decided to sail around the world. During his travels, he recruited everyone from relatives to complete strangers to share in the adventure as he filmed the various points of interest he would visit along his ambitious route. In his view, his journey was too awe-inspiring to experience alone.

Viewers of the film will also feel like a fellow passenger as Alex and his crew encounter the glories of the natural world, engage with communities that have long been undocumented, and even climb an active rumbling volcano. Those closest to Alex testify to his inspiring character, and reflect on his stubborn resolve against the perils of bad weather, near disastrous collisions, and oftentimes unbearable living conditions.

Chasing Bubbles works as both a breathtaking travelogue and an absorbing character study. What was it that drove Alex? Was he embracing the possibilities of life, or running away from a pain he couldn't define? How can we apply the lessons of his journey in our own lives, and what meaning should we derive from his death from typhoid fever at such an early age? It's in this personal exploration that the film truly resonates.

Directed by: Topher Cochrane, Alex Rust

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34 Comments / User Reviews

  1. William Farley

    I'm now 88 years old and have been there, done that. When all is said and done there is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

  2. Maxxx

    Such a Great on Board, tag along experience, wrapped in a film. Will keep you thinking about it for long after, wondering why you didn't and are not seeking the experiences of life, more so, as we are wrapped up in the minutia on stories put upon us. Here we are, and now, where to go. A longer life, isn't always a better one. This is the story of 50 lifetimes lived in less than half of one. Time to self evaluate, and open up.

  3. Alpha

    Amazing documentary and an incredible bloke. I have watched it twice in the last few months and the whole story has since stuck in my mind A+

  4. hi

    What an idiot. Like a bunch of dumb ass drunk frat boys with stripper wannabe girlfriends ..... so annoying

    1. Bye

      How are you? Do better guy.

    2. William Farley

      I know he worked hard to earn his money, but without it, I wonder how his life would have turned out?

  5. Arnas

    This is an incredible and so inspiring movie to watch, couldn't fall asleep for a while after watching it, I was stuck in a mind train!

    1. Sander

      Same happend 2 me!:D

  6. Jim

    An interesting documentary and an equally interesting person but I am amazed his complete disregard for safety didn't end up killing somebody. However I believe the world is definitely a less interesting place without Alex.

  7. John D

    I absolutely love this story... I hope to live a life as full as Alex's. Well done Alex!

  8. marie pittas

    .....amazing story amazing man.....he proved that there is no limits in life we put the limits alex broke that.....a pure soul like a child...god take him because he did his mission here in earth.

  9. Phil Wareham

    I think that many of us (especially people watching sailing documentaries) can empathise with his search or meaning in life. His life shows just how hard it is to find. From his video clips, he clearly had more fun than most other people put together. He also challenged himself and achieved what he set out to. Afterwards, he was left feeling "what now?" I've got no answers.

  10. pattiseattle

    beautiful soul.beautiful man.wanna meet u in heaven

  11. Django van Eck

    What a beautiful documentairy 10+, loved it what a great hero Alex I hope u live forever in the after life and you will in the heads of all the persons you did good on that beautiful trip. U gave them the time of their life and you had the time of your life thats what life is all about! Thank you for the beautiful insight on your dream road(sail) of your life! Very good docuentary really passionate and thruthful story telling by all the persons who knew Alex and spend time with him.

  12. Petra I Hernandez

    Great example of Man's Search for Meaning. Or of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken", This young man took "the road less traveled by and that made all the difference". Very inspirational! Bless his soul out there in Infinity.

  13. MamaB.

    What an extraordinary film this was to watch. He sure did leave his mark in the world. I often enjoy watching TDF because it gives us such an insight into so many other parts of the world that one may not ever see, particularly through one's own human experience. He gave this world a gift of his presence and to those who may have never met him, he sure had a way of inviting us all into his life.
    This is truly what life is all about, living especially in the moment. Live life to its fullest because we may not have tomorrow. Life is way too short to live in such a mundane world, it should be embraced and fulfilling. Like the gentleman at the end of the film said, we only limit ourselves. Great film.

  14. Topher Cochrane

    Thankyou to whomever wrote this. What a thoughtful and considerate read of the movie. I've often wondered if we left certain elements of the story too ambigous, but you've carefully considered and journaled many subtle beats that I consider to be essential.

  15. DJB

    At least he squeezed more into life than most people do in a lifetime - which makes you question your own existence & what's really important ...

  16. Steve Jones

    Tragic end for someone who grabbed life by the horns.

  17. Mark Gaboury

    Interesting documentary about a lively man. Good thing the only person he got killed was himself. Oh, how foolish men are to plunge into hell on the wings of an adventure! Their lives are like soap bubbles on a sea of everlasting misery.

  18. Larry

    His story reminds me of combat soldiers, who lived so intensely, then have trouble readjusting to normal routine humdrum life.

  19. sidsnot

    i guess you are worried john smith... theres nothing to worriy about :)

  20. sidsnot

    never have the gelt to buy a boat used jets,, been to everywhere the news said its not good to go had the time of my life

  21. Steven harding

    This was mind blowing,I loved it too the end 10 out of ten 4 me God bless you alex do shòw thìs on the big screens,but as it is,ñot someone playing his part

  22. john smith

    Why didn't he take a typhoid injection?What a shame. Variety IS the spice of life, it's never easy to come back to the hum drum way of life after having adventures like this,I've been there too.You just want to keep going.Forever and ever.Nothing is the same again.This has nothing to do with being Bi polar, it's just living life to the full, and then the reality of life sinks in when you get home, that's all.

  23. john smith

    Must have had a lot of money, this trip must have cost a fortune but saying that, it must have been amazing!

  24. Thomas

    Good docu. Really worth of making a movie about.
    Very interesting. 9/10 !

  25. Dan

    Thank you for the trip and God Bless you, Alex

  26. JSteff

    Great story about a very unique man. all the money he needs and the time.
    What an adventure!

  27. Rick

    Why is this only 5.4, should be at least a 9.

  28. LEE

    OR....let me try again maybe Alex was born as a nomadic person that was or wasn't Bipolar....I know it took me 50 restless years 70 long trips and a dignosis to realize that I am nomadic and Bipolar.In 2019 I will retire and sell my home and travel with my wife till we are's who I am and it's were I'm happiest exploring places and ideas.

  29. LEE

    Sometimes we make another separate comment ....LOL
    Abraham Lincoln was Bipolar and look were that got him ....but he like Alex was a Genius .Sometimes they are a gifted artist in Hollywood creating new experiences for people producing and making special movies.

    1. Jim

      Wow good old Abe was diagnosed as Bipolar a hundred years before the term was first used and described in a medical journal. :P

  30. LEE

    I vote HYPOMANIC....... Bipolar or Type 1 .
    I have Bipolar and I can feel very alive on the edge......... unless severe depression almost kills me months at a time.....or panic attacks.
    We also do things like live in our van because we think differently.