Review: 0.03 Seconds (2017)

0.03 Second (2017)

Directed by: Suzanne Raes | 90 minutes | documentary, sports | With: Femke Heemskerk, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Sharon van Rouwendaal, Sebastiaan Verschuren, Ferry Weertman

Dutch top swimmers on their way to Rio, interesting viewing for connoisseurs and undoubtedly for a wider audience prior to the Games. After all, the protagonists of the documentary ‘0.03 second’ are all world stars and interesting personalities with a Dutch sobriety and bravado. The modest three-time Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo has a bit more of one thing, her quicksilver-like competitor in the sprint Femke Heemskerk (Olympic relay gold) a bit more of the other.

Together, these opposites could have produced an interesting – ahem – smashing documentary, but medal candidate Sebastiaan Verschuren is also welcome. With his European title in the 200 meters and Olympic diploma in the 100 meters free, he seems to get the most out of his possibilities. The fourth in question is Sharon van Rouwendaal (now Olympic champion in the 10 km), whose humor does justice to her last name alone. That humor is sorely needed in the serious swimmer’s life, where spartanism and killer instincts go hand in hand.

Which is disappointing, although the documentary makers cannot be blamed: in everyday life the top swimmers are ordinary people, with a rabbit against loneliness. It is really only that Verschuren, when asked about it, subordinates the hypothetical death of his girlfriend to Olympic fame. You should actually be shocked when you hear that, but it seems more blunt than passion. Verschuren is also a nice boy with a hipster beard, which he shaves off out of superstition when the final day has arrived.

The makers of ‘0.03 seconds’ also had little work to do with white spirit Van Rouwendaal, who simply brushed away frustrations uncomplicated; what they could have done better are the flamboyant characters of Kromo and Heemskerk. One does not allow himself to be looked into, the other too much and such divas deserve to be angered by a documentary maker. In all its Dutch cheerfulness, this skilfully made documentary is therefore more brave than both champions – and especially the viewers – deserve.

Comments are closed.