St. John Film Society Press Release: Free Swim


Free Movie Night: FREE SWIM Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 7:30 PM, St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay.

St. John Film Society will open its fall 2011 film series with a free screening of the award winning documentary FREE SWIM, a 50 minute documentary directed by Jennifer Galvin.

The film is about the paradox of Caribbean coastal people not knowing how to swim. Taking place on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas we follow a group of kids as they overcome their fears, and reconnect with their environment by learning to swim in open waters. With fresh memories of a friend drowning and the conflicts of growing tourism, for these kids it’s not just about floating, but gaining new skills for their future.

In the U.S. about 60% of ethnically diverse children are unable to swim and African-American children drown at three times the rate of Caucasian children. FREE SWIM uses the topic of learning to swim as a way to explore more complicated aspects of life on Eleuthera, such as influences on community function by the media, drowning, tourism, overfishing, and education. The story thread is woven with footage of children learning to swim in their backyard sea. Underwater footage shows the challenges of learning to breathe in a new environment and the powers of discovering a beautiful, new world.

The post film discussion will discuss St. John programs that teach our youth how to swim. Featured guests include Dean Doeling, “Using Sport for Social Change” and the ‘Just Swim’ event and Laurel Brannick, champion of the VI National Park ‘Learn to Swim’ program.

The challenges of learning to swim on St. John are similar to those on Eleuthera and of interest to parents, visitors and everyone who enjoys our ocean waters as a playground.

St. John Weather Update
Plenty of thunderstorms with some cloud to ground lightning throughout last night associated with a low pressure system. At 6:30 this morning it’s partly cloudy and breezy. TS Ophelia is expected to effect our weather on Sunday.

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