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Diving into History: “Vindication Swim” Premieres in Edinburgh on International Women’s Day


To commemorate International Women’s Day, the eagerly awaited biographical film Vindication Swim will be premiering in cinemas throughout the United Kingdom on the 8th of March.

The film delves into the remarkable life of Mercedes Gleitze, who, in 1927, achieved the distinction of being the inaugural British woman to swim across the English Channel successfully.

The film depicts Mercedes’ upstream struggle in overcoming both the cold waters of the English Channel and the oppressive society of 1920s England. However, after a rival comes forward claiming to have accomplished the same feat, Mercedes is forced into battle to retain her record and her legacy.

Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Elliott Hasler, Vindication Swim, stars British-Irish actress Kirsten Callaghan in her debut role as Mercedes Gleitze, who trained for months in the English Channel before filming began. The film also stars John Locke (Darkest Hour, Poor Things, The Favourite) alongside James Wilby (Maurice, Gosford Park, Howards End) and Douglas Hodge (Joker, The Great, Black Mirror).

Director Elliott Hasler – Photographer Janet Brown

Mercedes Gleitze, a name that has been largely lost to history, also became the first person to complete many of other incredible swims around the world, including the Straits of Gibraltar, the Dardanelles and the distance between Robben Island and Cape Town. Mercedes also made waves in Edinburgh itself, achieving the unthinkable in July 1929 by swimming across the Firth of Forth in a time of 11 hours 22 minutes. Gleitze’s awe-inspiring feat also included a stop in Edinburgh in 1930, where she showcased her remarkable endurance skills at the iconic Infirmary Street Baths, swimming for an astonishing 26 hours straight in front of 7,000 spectators.

Kirsten Callaghan as Mercedes Gleitze – Photographer Martin Tomes

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, Vindication Swim serves as a poignant reminder of the indomitable spirit of a woman who dared to dream beyond the confines of her era. The film’s release on the 8th of March invites Edinburgh residents to join the nationwide audience in commemorating International Women’s Day while paying homage to a local connection that shaped Gleitze’s remarkable legacy. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a sports fan, or simply someone seeking inspiration, Vindication Swim promises a cinematic experience that celebrates not only the achievements of Mercedes Gleitze, but also the collective strength and determination of women who have left an indelible mark on our world.

Details for screenings can be found at www.vindicationswimfilm.com or @vindicationswimfilm on social media.

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