Camilla Cabello has recently expressed her love and praise for The Swimmers, the Netflix autobiographical sports drama directed by Sally El Hoisani. The film documents the journey of two Syrian sisters who escape from their war-torn country with the dream of competing in the Olympics.
Real-life sisters Nathalie Issa and Manal Issa play Yusra Mardini and Sara Mardini, respectively. The Mardini sisters are two refugees who gained media attention when it was reported they swam alongside a sinking dinghy of refugees to lighten it, eventually helping it reach safety across the Aegean Sea.
The Swimmers‘ story is balanced between portraying the hardships in Syria, the refugees experiencing travelling between borders, and Yusra’s journey to becoming an Olympian swimmer. The film premiered on Saturday, September 8th, at the Toronto Film Festival before being released to Netflix for streaming on Friday, November 23rd. The singer quote tweeted Netflix’s post of the film’s trailer, captioning it: “The most important movie I’ve seen in a long time. Humanity at its best makes films like this.”
Cabella refers to the intense and emotional portrayals of immigration, family, discrimination and conflict The Swimmers expresses. This subject matter has touched audiences, some sharing the same views as Cabella. During an interview with Amaliah, Yusra Mardini shared: “When I swam through the ocean to safety, I never thought of a movie being made of my life because millions of other refugees went through the same”.
The Olympian also addressed The Swimmers‘ uplifting and dignifying elements, such as the touching presentation of family and love in the opening birthday party scene: “You don’t see that in other movies or on the news, so this scene was so important as it portrayed the country, Syria and the Middle East,” Mardini shared. “When you think about the Middle East, you think ‘everything’s destroyed. There’s no culture’. The images that are shown in the news terrify me because when I was living in Syria and saw news like that, I was like, ‘it was one building that was bombed. Everything around it is fine.’ But they focus on this one building. Of course, it was sad, but Damascus was not affected as much as Aleppo, Latakia and so on. So that scene is powerful because, at the time, we were also teenagers just trying to live and be normal, so that was one scene that touched me.”
The Swimmers is now available to stream on Netflix.