Vindication Swim (PG) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir: Elliott Hasler,  UK 2024, 98 mins

Cast: Kirsten Callaghan,  John Locke, Victoria Summer

Review by Carlie Newman

Along with most of you I suspect, I had never heard of Mercedes Gleitze (played by Kristen Callaghan here) until I saw this film. Based on the true life story of the first British woman to swim the English Channel in 1920s England.

It’s a pity that a similar film starring Annette Bening and Jodie Foster has come out around the same time as this. Vindication Swim is a small indie film and has been lost beside Nyad.

But it is worth seeing for the gritty performance by Callaghan who puts real feeling into her portrayal. The film shows the swimmer fighting to achieve her aim. We see Mercedes  battle against her rival Edith Grade (Victoria Summer), who fraudulently claims the title so that Mercedes has to do her attempt a second time – the vindication swim – to prove herself worthy of the title.

Mercedes is assisted throughout by her dedicated trainer, Harold Best (John Locke)who supports and pushes her in his own grumpy style.

The film might push you into  attempting an endurance swim, or maybe, like me, you will keep to your leisurely up and down in your local swimming pool!