Swimming Through Image

Swimming Through

By Benjamin Franz | November 1, 2023

A tale of resilience from the height of the Pandemic, Swimming Through introduces us to three middle aged women who instruct us, the spectators, in a whole new level of resilience. Riffing off the famous Polar Bear clubs of the world, these three ladies – initially strangers to each other – got together and decided it would be a meaningful experience to swim in Lake Michigan all winter during the Damnpanic. Helen, Jennifer, and Deirdre tell us of their personal experiences that led them to collaborate on this sisterhood of winter swimming. Each of these stories is moving. Helen being a cancer survivor and Deirdre swimming in memory of her husband John both hit me right in the heart. Such pangs when you learn of the trouble they seek to rise above.

“…three middle aged women who instruct us, the spectators, in a whole new level of resilience.”

Jennifer had an interesting and unique perspective. Here’s a woman who’s used to being alone, doing things alone, and now she realizes she needs to do this one thing – swimming in the freezing waters of Lake Michigan – with buddies. Witnessing the evolving tactics and strategies these ladies employ to manage to swim in Lake Michigan, even once the lake inevitably becomes a thick blanket of ice, is so very life-affirming. As they wade in the puddle they create from the icy lake, it feels like a great and wonderful accomplishment.

Samantha Sanders has been involved in filmmaking for many years. Through it all, she has written and directed some excellent shorts. Swimming Through is a short she should feel especially proud of. This 15-minute piece will give inspiration to anyone who chances upon it. So wonderfully affirming of life, even in the face of abject terror like the Damnpanic.

Swimming Through is the best use of 15 minutes I can think of. If you’re looking for a brilliant, life-affirming film that speaks wonderfully of the ties that bond us together, you could not find a better example. Seek this one out. It blew my mind and widened my heart.

Swimming Through (2023)

Directed and Written: Samantha Sanders

Starring: Deirdre Hamill-Squiers, Jennefer Hoffmann, Helen Wagner, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

Swimming Through Image

"…a brilliant, life affirming film..."

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