Here are descriptions and trailers for the films to be shown May 14 at a FREE online event for club members.
Goodbye Olympic – Set in Iran, this film is about a young female flatwater kayaker who, against all odds, is trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. As well as following the ups and downs of her story, the film offers a fascinating closeup look at everyday life in small-town Iran.
River Kingdom – Three westerners and their Cambodian friend set out on a journey through rural Cambodia. Their goal is to paddle the Srepok River, a tributary of the mighty Mekong. However, their expedition comes to a quick halt when the river takes an unexpected turn. Then, just when they think their journey is over, a new and very different adventure begins. This film shows a sweet and joyful side of humanity as two cultures come together in unexpected circumstances, and it offers an inside look at life in a small Cambodian village.
Toutan Rider – Set in a small town on the Iran/Afghanistan border, this film focuses on Dadkhoda, an old man who has spent much of his life building and using toutans, a type of traditional reed boat that has been used in the region for millennia. Although modern boats are making them obsolete, Dadkhoda insists on using traditional methods and materials to build one last toutan. As the story unfolds, we get a glimpse of a vanishing way of life, and, again, we get an intimate view of life in small-town Iran, although it’s a life much different from that shown in Goodbye Olympic. (There is no trailer available for this film.)
Spirit of Jaguar – Three adventurers set out into the Amazon jungle to deliver malaria medicine to members of the Hodi tribe. Once they make contact, they undertake a difficult trek to the tribe’s jungle village where they spend several weeks. The Hodi are isolated enough that they still maintain their traditional lifestyle, meeting all of their needs from the jungle around them and showing a deep respect for nature and its balance. Living communally in peace and harmony they in many ways represent the opposite of our western culture. This is an intimate and absolutely fascinating view of a vanishing way of life.