Big River Man is up there with the very best modern documentaries. Link
- 4 Stars, Richard Luck, Channel 4 Film
The pivotal figure in the excellent American documentary “Big River Man,” from the resourceful young director John Maringouin (his only other feature is “Running Stumbled”), has so much personality it’s a wonder he fits on the screen. Link
- Manohla Dargis, Ny Times
Followers of Maringouin's impressive, disturbing feature debut, "Running Stumbled," may not spot the filmmaker's touch in the brightly amusing first 30 minutes, but gradually, as the 52-year-old Martin ventures deep downstream and flirts with his physical limits, the disorienting strangeness of "Running" seeps into "Big River Man," resulting in something much darker than a merely amusing promo reel for the Slovenian swimmer.
- Robert Koehler, Variety
People don't get much more documentary-worthy than Martin Strel... film-maker John Maringouin could hardly fail to come up with a good story. In the event, he got an absolute epic, in which Strel loses his marbles and insists on keeping swimming despite severe risks to his physical health.
- 4 Stars, Edward Porter, London Times
Unsettling, fascinating and exhilarating. John Maringouin plots a course for the heart of darkness in the company of a 52 year old Slovenian endurance swimmer. Link
- 4 Stars, Tom Dawson, Total Film
Director John Maringouin has chanced upon documentary gold - Strel is the sort of off-kilter character even the most imaginative fiction writer would have had trouble dreaming up.
- 4 Stars, Tim Evans, Sky News
Strel emerges as less exotic curio or eco-campaigner than genuinely obsessive, compelled to seek both unity with and mastery over nature. Link
- 4 Stars, Ben Walters, TimeOut London
An engaging, scenically spectacular documentary about one of the world's most extraordinary eccentrics.
- 4 Stars, Christopher Tookey, Daily Mail [UK]
Big River Man is as close to documentary perfection as possible. Tough and vulnerable Strel is masculinity incarnate, and his quest gestures beyond his beloved red wine and beer and towards the mystical. Astonishing.
- 4 Stars, Karen Krizanovich, Filmstar
With its yellow Amazon sunsets, the cinematography - which picked up a Sundance award - is excellent, and the doco has a rough diamond, DIY feel that suits its subject. Inspiring, funny and dramatic, this green-hued film has a genuine broad appeal.
- 4 Stars, Annette Basile, Film Ink
Thoroughly engaging and genuinely fascinating documentary that's by turns hilarious, awe-inspiring, disturbing and deeply moving.
- 4 Stars, Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
Director Maringouin says he set out to make a documentary with an environmental message, "but that message got eclipsed by insanity." This is one of the most entertaining, riveting docs you'll ever see.
- 4 Stars, Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall