Sunday, January 11, 2009

DEEP WATER (Louise Osmond, 2006, UK) This mesmerizing documentary examines the physical and mental breakdown of Donald Crowhurst during the 1969 around-the-world yacht race. While the film gives us fascinating archive footage of the participants preparing for the race, the true power is in the heart-wrenching interviews with his family and those close to the disaster. The narration is insightful as it attempts to understand Donald’s mental collapse as he backs himself into a corner in which there is seemingly no escape. His ambitions led him down a dark and devious path where his last act was a selfish attempt to save his reputation and family from disgrace. My heart ached to see his son break down and cry over the deeds of his father 40 years ago, the emotional wounds still fresh and bleeding. I think is easy to share blame on others who financed the expedition and wouldn’t let Crowhurst back out without taking a huge financial loss, but the final decision was all his and so was the fatal error in judgment. To Crowhurst’s credit he never blamed anyone but himself though his final decision was an awful and selfish mistake that scarred his family forever. Ideas are dangerous. (B+)

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