Trailer Watch: Syrian Refugee Sisters Dream of the Olympics in “The Swimmers”

Sally El Hosseini competes at the 2016 Rio Olympics in “The Swimmers,” following two sisters from war-torn Syria. A new trailer for the inspirational drama, based on a true story, introduces us to Yusra (Nathalie Issa) and Sara Mardini (Manal Issa), competitive swimmers whose lives turn out to be out of control in Damascus. We watch them flee with gunfire and explosions, realizing they must leave their country and loved ones behind. The sisters are seeking protection as they chase their Olympic dreams.

The location shows two men embarking on a treacherous journey from the Turkish coast to Europe on an inflatable boat with other refugees. They quickly realize that the vessel cannot support the weight of all its passengers, so Yusra and Sarah resort to swimming.

When they finally reach Germany, the sisters begin training with a local coach, who reveals that an Olympic refugee team is being formed. “Swim for me. For all those who died trying to find a new life. Swim for all of us,” Sarah tells Yusra.

El Hosseini made his feature debut with 2012’s “My Brother the Devil”.

“The Swimmers” made its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where it opened the fest. The film opens in select theaters on November 11 and launches on Netflix on November 23. El Hosseini co-wrote the screenplay with Jack Thorne.