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photo courtesy © Zum Goldenen Lamm Filmproduktion

Beate was once the GDR’s fastest female swimmer. Now, she has a menial laundry job. Having placed her needs and wants in life on a backburner, she devotes most of her free time to her grown children. Her daughter, a single mother, relies on Beate to look after her child as she studies. Her son and his girlfriend live with her, taking her selflessness for granted. Initially ignoring all the warning signs, Beate stoically internalizes the news she has cancer. To spare her family any anguish, she bottles her emotions and hides the truth of her condition. Her diagnosis, however, sparks a change. As an athlete in her prime, she never reached the Olympics and now, almost fifty, she decides to swim the English Channel. She uses money previously promised to her son to fund her dream. Her training takes precedence over helping others. But rushed to hospital on the eve of her swim, her moment of self-fulfillment seems unattainable. Skillfully directed by Marc Rensing, “The Woman Who Dares” is the story of one woman’s determination and courage to take control of her dreams in the face of crushing adversity.

Her ambitious goal is to swim through the Channel. This is not only a bold venture because of her age – she is a fifty-year-old woman – but also because she has been diagnosed cancer and doesn´t have much time left. She never liked doctors, not then, when she used to be a top-class swimmer and had to take turbinol (medicine), and not now. Her cancer diagnosis is probably a long-term consequence of her former doping.

However she continues to practice because for her the journey is the reward. She almost has to fight everything and everybody, the cold water of the Baltic Sea, her best friend Henny, who doesn´t support her at all, as well as her family and most of all herself. Yet there is one thing she is sure of: “The thing that I’m doing – I owe it to myself!”
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2013
Director Marc Rensing
Screenplay Annette Friedmann
Cinematography Tom Fährmann
Cast Steffi Kühnert, Jenny Schily, Christina Hecke, Lena Oderich, Steve Windolf, Anna Blomeier, Christina Große
Producers Stefan Sporbert, Rüdiger Heinze
Production Company Zum Goldenen Lamm Filmproduktion/Ludwigsburg, in co-production with SWR, SR/Saarbrücken, ARTE, ARRI Media
Runtime 98 min
Format DCP, color
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Zurich 2013, Hof 2013, Shanghai 2014, Cambridge 2014
Awards Special Mention Zurich 2013
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Filmförderung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Zum Goldenen Lamm Filmproduktion
Stefan Sporbert, Ruediger Heinze
Alleenstr. 2
71638 Ludwigsburg/Germany
phone +49-71 41-9 56 51 55
fax +49-71 41-9 56 51 54