James Pittar is blind. He is also a long-distance swimmer. In his amazing career, he has swum across the English Channel and taken on sharks and oil tankers. When the reality hit James that he was going blind, he hid in his bedroom for two years – his fate was particularly cruel since his dad was an ophthalmologist.
So what is James doing in New York surrounded by skyscrapers, in Speedos, smeared with Vaseline, and standing on the edge of the Hudson River? He is attempting to claim some freedom back by swimming 48 kilometers around Manhattan in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. Imagine being buffeted by strong rips and tides as your arms turn to spaghetti and all you want to do is throw up. Your sole survival is to power on and listen for the whistles that will guide you to your destiny.
Swimming with skyscrapers is James’ story: his fight against the elements; his disability; his will to be recognized and his larrikin support crew from Australia. They need James, and James needs them. The film observes James and his crew as they nervously waltz around the Big Apple in all its glory. He owes it to them to complete the swim, but not only must he fight pain, hypothermia, and water currents, he must also complete the swim within eight and a half hours or be hauled from the water by race officials. This is an uplifting and hopeful story of one man’s dreams fulfilled.
Can This Blind Swimmer Finish the Manhattan Island Marathon? | Absolute Documentaries