Yusra and Sara Mardini, the Voice of War Refugees from Siria

Yusra and Sara Mardini, the Voice of War Refugees from Siria

The Netflix platform recently launched this feature film based on the true story of the Mardini sisters

The sisters with their courage, bravery, and determination saved their lives and those of other migrants who fled the war.

The leading actresses in the film are the sisters Manal and Nathalie Issa, who with their interpretation managed to move the public and have generated the best criticism and acceptance, making “the swimmers” one of the most watched this season, although they had to train in her swimming skills, which was one of the aspects why Manal might have initially turned down the role. Even the Mardinis thought that coming from the same background, their interpretation would be very real.

The director on this occasion was Sally El Hosaini, of an Egyptian father and a Welsh mother, winner of the BAFTA and who has made several short films whose focus has been to translate real stories into fictional projects. Her first feature film, My Brother the Devil (2012), took six years to produce and was awarded several awards. These were her words about this film:

I wanted to explore the importance of masculinity. I lived in Hackney for 10 years and was fascinated by the teenagers I saw around the neighborhood, especially those of Arab origin whose culture I could relate to. Initially, I was interested in the band as a surrogate family but as my knowledge deepened I became immersed in their fights. I researched the subject, I spent a lot of time listening to them tell their stories, I learned about their attempts to achieve happiness and their struggles to get a job.”

In 2019, she was entrusted with the production of the swimmers, the result of which has been the best received for its realism, for capturing many interesting edges and enveloping messages. The Mardini sisters agreed to narrate their story, from their life in their native Syria where their father trained them in swimming, to their way of facing adversity when they flee the war in a boat and on the voyage it begins to sink when they decide to swim for hours, tied to the boat, to save the lives of the 18 refugees who were painfully close to the time of their death.

This is how, after long and risky trips and setbacks, they traveled through Lebanon and Turkey, until they reached Germany. In that country, they meet a swimming coach, Sven Spannekrebs, who observed the great talent they had to obtain a medal in that sport and led them along the way until Yursa managed to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as part of the Olympic Team of Refugee Athletes, which was her dream since she was little.

Sarah, for her part, joined an NGO in Lesbos as a volunteer with the Emergency Response Center International (ERCI), assisting refugees in danger trying to reach the island, based on her own experience and thus providing support beyond what could be described as patriotism. With her work and her life story, she inspires strength, resilience, and perseverance to achieve dreams and not lose hope.

In addition to her tireless work, she has given talks in Europe and even before the UN General Assembly in New York, with the firm purpose of helping change the way refugees are perceived.

Unquestionably, the story of the Mardini sisters that is brought to the screen thanks to Netflix is ​​something that you cannot miss. Enter this platform and get ready to experience moments of great sentimental value, and admiration, and probably their messages of not letting yourself be defeated in the face of adversity will reach your heart, as has happened with the thousands of people who have applauded them worldwide.

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