There are documentaries about quirky characters with unusual quests - and then there is Big River Man

Overweight and over 50, Martin Strel attempts to shatter his own world record with what can only be described as the longest, most dangerous swim in history. 

Entertainment editor Amanda Palmer talks to Martin and Borut Strel about Big River Man
Strel paddles through malevolent gangs, isolated tribes, crocodiles, toxic waste, lethal whirlpools and toothy piranhas during an historic 3375 mile swim down the Amazon - guzzling as much as two bottles of wine a day whilst still immersed.

Director John Maringouin captures the many dimensions of Strel's one-of-a-kind quest, from his strained working relationship with Borut, his son and manager, to his ultimate aspiration of contributing to a cleaner, greener world.

Environmental campaigner, world-class athlete, compulsive drinker and adventurer, Martin Strel makes Big River Man a journey not to be missed.

Martin and Borut Strel join Amanda Palmer, Al Jazeera's entertainment editor, and the FPS audience for a memorable Q&A session – including the Strels's claim that Maringouin manipulated their images and, to some extent, misrepresented them.

Part two:


Danis Tanovic

Director Danis Tanovic
When director Danis Tanovic won an Oscar in 2002 for No Man's Land, a sly, satirical take on the 1993 war in Bosnia, he became perhaps the most prominent Bosnian artist on the international scene.

Tanovic soon left Bosnia for Paris, but he has now returned - and, although he has two new feature films in the works, he is not just there to make more movies.

FPS goes on the road in Bosnia with Danis Tanovic as he attempts to launch a new political party called Nasa Stranka, or "Our Party".

Their main message is to reject the political culture that uses fear of nationalism to hide corruption. Will he be able to convey his message this time, without the use of cinema?

Living in Emergency

Living in Emergency, directed by Mark Hopkins
The international humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, has been tending to the world's most vulnerable since 1971.

But in all that time, they had never permitted a documentary filmmaker full access to their operation – not until now.

Living in Emergency follows MSF in the field in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It pulls no punches, conveying a visceral sense of the daunting challenges that face these mighty men and women of medical mercy on a daily basis.

FPS speaks to director Mark Hopkins about his years chronicling their efforts.

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show can be seen from Thursday, September 10, 2009 at the following times GMT: Thursday: 0600 and 1630; Friday: 0130 and 0830; Saturday: 1130 and 2330; Sunday: 0630 and 2030; Monday: 1430; Tuesday: 1930; Wednesday: 0300.

Source: Al Jazeera