Imagine swimming to freedom…

London Law Collective had the privilege of watching a special screening of The Swimmers, a heart-wrenching and yet uplifting film about Yusra and Sara Mardini, two Syrian women who swam their way to freedom. Hosted by West London Welcome, a community centre that supports refugees, migrants and people seeking asylum, the evening included a Q&A with Director Sally El Hosaini, one of the cast Nahel Tzegai and a refugee who experienced a similar journey to Europe.

The Swimmers tells the story of two teenage sisters who leave Syria during the Syrian conflict in search of a better life in Germany. Both sisters are champion swimmers and previously represented Syria in international swimming competitions. Their story across Europe to Germany is one fraught with extreme danger and shines a light on the sacrifice many migrants have to deal with.

The beauty of the film however is that it shows the normal lives of two teenage sisters who want the best for themselves and their family. It not only shows their love for swimming and how their swimming ability saved them and their friends in the sea between Turkey and Greece but also the music they like, their relationships with their friends, and their vulnerabilities and worries growing up in a country far away from their parents.

The story, though, ends on a high note with Yusra achieving her dream and representing the Refugee Olympic Team at the Rio Olympics. It is ultimately a film that tells the story of many people who have taken similar risks to achieve freedom and a better life, and as Director Sally El Hosaini said, “the film is bigger than all of us. I had a feeling that what we were doing was very important and I wanted to shine a light on what people went through.”

Our CEO, Jo Farquharson, is Chairperson of West London Welcome and is just one of the many charities that London Law Collective supports throughout the year.