The film chronicles the dynamic journey of a blind swimmer who negotiates with his destitution, destiny and desire while chasing his ultimate dream of crossing the English Channel.
Blind swimmer, Kanai Chakraborty, an ex-student of Helen Keller Institute, where he pursued sports alongside studies to feel enabled. In India, visually-challenged people from lower socio-economic background usually end up leading a pitied life. But Kanai challenged this custom, aiming to lead the dignified life of a sportsman. This decision made his life uncertain, but eventful forever.
Kanai knows that swimming is not just a physical challenge for him, but his greatest identity. Therefore, at the age of 40, Kanai decides to explore the extreme challenges of long-distance swimming. In September, 2013, he participates in the World’s Longest Open-Water Swimming Competition (81 km) in the river Ganges. During peak monsoon, when the river is at its height of turbulence; Kanai fights to tame it successfully, touching the finish line after swimming for 12 long hours!
His success stirs up the stagnant ambience of small town of Krishnanagar. But when the sensation dies down, he discovers that except a few of his friends, no one else is still standing by him. Even in his own family, he is considered a burden, failing to make financial contribution. Kanai realizes, as a blind person, he does not have much future in a country where the world’s largest numbers of unemployed blind people live. But as a swimmer he can still scale new heights. Hence, Kanai decides to switch from river to ocean, planning to cross English Channel – the “Mount Everest of open-water swimming”. The blind school, where Kanai teaches now, needs an icon to motivate the kids to come out of their shells. Kanai is given the responsibility of instilling courage in them, so that they too can take up sports, overcoming their deepest fears.
Amidst all this, Kanai has fallen for a visually-impaired woman who is married to another blind man. Kanai sees the world through her eyes. For the first time, he feels the warmth of affection. But Kanai is at a crossroads, questioning his own morality.
For the last three years, our film has been closely recording the dynamic journey of this gritty man in next as he negotiates with his destitution, destiny, desire and dream.
Swimming Through The Darkness is the chronicle of a man, who fights incessantly to rise above the ordinary and the dark to reach for the light of a greater horizon
A leading independent documentary filmmaker of India, he has directed films like Way Back Home, Hope Dies Last in War, Wagah, Wait Until Death, The Nest and many other award winning films.He has won 36 international awards for his films in festivals like Berlinale, Karlovy Vary, Krakow, Bilbao, Hamburg, Uppsala, Abu Dhabi, IFFI, MIFF. Supriyo has won three National Awards including Swarna Kamal for the best Documentary of the Year for Hope Dies Last in War. Supriyo has been directing this film for the last three years with great passion and commitment. Access to his character and understanding his psyche is what makes him bring out such interesting narratives.
Aritra is a qualified engineer from The University Of Manchester, UK but his passion for filmmaking has made him switch careers. At a young age of 27 he has been associated with more than 10 fiction feature films and documentaries in many ways. He has produced two Bengali fiction feature films Choukaath and Aranya Deb. Wasteland is his third venture. He is also currently producing Supriyo Sen’s documentary Swimming Through The Darkness. As a dynamic professional he wears different hats in projects and contributes creatively to a film from conception to final post production..
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