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