Deep Water | Chicago Reader

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Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell's bleakly gripping documentary uses audio recordings, archival 16-millimeter film, and assorted interviews to chart the ill-fated voyage of Donald Crowhurst, a 36-year-old father of four and owner of a failing marine-electronics business, who in 1968 competed in the first around-the-world solo yachting race. The London Sunday Times, sponsor of the race, was awarding two cash prizes of 5,000 pounds, one for the first contestant to make it home, the other for achieving the fastest time; Crowhurst convinced himself he could win the latter despite his limited sailing experience. Tragically, Crowhurst instead sailed off to confront his darkest fears and vulnerabilities. Osmond and Rothwell's depiction of his unraveling is an exquisitely structured drama. 92 min.

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