The Swimmers (2022) Ending Explained – Do Yusra and Sara make it to Germany?

The Swimmers Plot Synopsis

The Swimmers follows two sisters trying to chase their dreams in war-torn Syria. Yusra has big dreams to be an Olympic gold medalist but her swimming goes up in flames when the country comes under attack.

After a brush with death, Sara and Yusra’s father agrees to send them out to Germany, in a bid to find refuge and salvation. With Nizra as their guide and confidant, the two girls set out, across perilous seas, trusting shady traffickers all the way in the hopes of making it to Germany.

For those who make it that far, the real fight for freedom begins as ech of these refugees attempt to make a new life for themselves. Of course, that means Yusra going back to swimming and attempting to make it into the bigtime. But is that a step too far for her?

Do the sisters make it to Germany?

Sara and Yusra eventually DO make it to Germany. They decide against getting in the same truck as the other refugees they made the journey with, thanks to a shady man attempting to rape Yusra just prior to this. As a result, Sara, Yusra and Nizar try their luck with marching alongside the other refugees for a way into Germany, having earlier seen news reports about this.

After staying in a hotel that night, using the last of the girls’ money to do so, Nizar has exciting news. He’s managed to get them a bus ride into Berlin and they don’t even need tickets either! While the girls are dubious, especially after being duped by a truck driver earlier in the movie, they head over all the same and make it into Germany.

Does Yusra compete at the Olympics?

Yusra’s dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer only intensifies when the girls get registered at a refugee center. While Sara focuses more on helping others, especially given the news about bombings intensifying in Syria, Yusra instead focuses on her swimming.

By chance, Yusra finds a swimming club and approaches the coach, Sven. Impressing Sven with her times, Yusra trains hard to be part of the Refugee Olympic Team. Although she’s initially hesitant about being an Olympian people will “feel sorry for”, inspiring words from both Sara and Nizar help her to take the plunge.

Yusra heads over to Rio, where she overhears other athletes bemoaning her lack of effort and how she’s just there for a sympathy gesture, unaware of Yusra’s heroic swim efforts earlier in the movie. Yusra soon shuts her doubters up though, outperforming everyone else and winning her heat.

How does The Swimmers end?

Nizar’s story is less heartwarming, however. He realizes he’s stuck in perpetual hell. He can’t get a job without a work permit and the only way to get that is to sit and wait in the refugee center. He is essentially the caged bird and as we leave things, it’s unclear whether the door will be opened for him.

As for Sara and Yusra, they reconvene after the swim, with the former deciding to help other refugees and Yusra continuing to work toward her Olympic dreams. The pair run into the water as the sun begins to set and start laughing together.

That water is incredibly symbolic, given the last time we saw them properly in water by the sea is after they make land in the rubber boat. Instead of anger and fear, slashing at the boat with a knife, the girls have finally found peace.

What’s the true story? What really happened?

The European Migrant Crisis has been well documented across the net, including in this comprehensive timeline on our sister site.

Yusra currently lives in Hamburg in Germany. She was part of the Refugee Olympics Team and won against four other women in the Rio Olympics. Thankfully, Yusra and Sara’s parents managed to escape Syria and live with her. She continues to excel at swimming and is an inspiration and a voice for refugees across the world.

Meanwhile, Sara ended up working to rescue refugees in Lesbos. In 2018, she was charged along with several other colleagues under smuggling charges and could well face 20 years in prison if found guilty.

The film ends on a sobering note. Since 2011, 5.7 million Syrians have become refugees. There are over 30 million refugees worldwide, and half of them are under the age of 18.


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