I'm not a documentary fan, but I watch them from time to time. I was pretty sure I had seen Deep Water on Paste magazine's list of top 50 films of 2007, but when I looked for the reference, it wasn't there, so I have no idea where I came across this film.
Originally a BBC documentary (which aired on PBS recently), the film chronicles the 1968 attempt of 9 people to circumnavigate (or sirsumnavigate in G.O.B.-speak) the world solo and non-stop. Never having heard of the race, it was a fascinating bit of history, in the same era as the Apollo launchings/landings; it was a period of grand exploration and testing the toughness and ingenuity of humanity.
As the film begins, you are sure that most of the protagonists will die, especially the film's main character, Donald Crowhurst. And I don't want to give anything away here, but I'll share with you that this is not [that overrated piece of trash] The Perfect Storm. Plus, Deep Water is narrated by Tilda Swinton, always a bonus.
The trick with Deep Water is that the flimmakers procured footage--both video and audio--of several boatsmen, including Crowhurst. So you don't have to worry about lame reenactments or anything like that (it's really cool to see 16mm film in widescreen by the way). The film does a fantastic job helping you to empathize with Crowhurst, making the outcome even more impactful.
Final Grade: A-
Blurb: If you're in the mood for a documentary but you don't want to be depressed (which seems to be the theme of most pop-docs), Deep Water is excellent. Do not confuse this movie with Deep Blue... no LL Cool J here!