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The Mesa Press

The Mesa Press

The independent student news site of San Diego Mesa College.

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The Mesa Press

The Mesa Press

Netflix dives in with a biopic about Diana Nyad

Mesa+College+alum+Annette+Bening+stars+as+controversial+open-water+swimmer+Diana+Nyad+in+the+Netflix+film+Nyad.
Tribune News Service
Mesa College alum Annette Bening stars as controversial open-water swimmer Diana Nyad in the Netflix film “Nyad.”

Netflix’s original film, “Nyad,” starring Mesa College alum Annette Bening, contains a powerful narrative that explores resiliency, self-discovery, and the enduring bonds of friendship. 

Diana Nyad is an American long-distance swimmer, author, and motivational speaker, born on Aug. 22, 1949. She gained international fame for her historic swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage in 2013, at the age of 64. Nyad first attempted to swim in 1978 but failed multiple times due to multiple challenges before achieving success decades later. Her remarkable endurance and determination in completing the 110-mile swim earned her widespread admiration and a place in the record books as the first person to accomplish this feat. Nyad’s life and achievements also extend to her work as a sports broadcaster and author of several books. 

Bening’s portrayal of Nyad is nothing short of remarkable. From her appearance to her physique, she provided a distinct authenticity to the character. Her raw portrayal of the seasoned swimmer draws viewers into the intricate emotions that define her character’s journey. It’s a testament to Bening’s commitment to her craft, bringing a genuine and relatable quality to her role.

One of the film’s standout elements is the portrayal of the relationship between Bening’s character and her friend Bonnie Stoll, played by Jodie Foster. The chemistry between the two actresses comes through on the screen as they depict a friendship that has weathered the storms of life. Bening and Foster skillfully navigate the complexities of their characters’ connection, blending moments of joy and shared history. Their performances breathe life into the narrative, making the audience not just spectators but emotionally invested participants in their journey.

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As the story unfolds, it becomes more than just a tale of a person looking to accomplish a lifelong goal that took her to the brink of death; it becomes a reflection of the human experience. Bening’s character embodies resilience and determination. The film artfully weaves together moments of vulnerability and strength, creating a rich tapestry of emotions that resonate long after the credits roll.

Nyad’s stepfather’s Greek heritage adds a particular cultural backdrop to her story. The documentary touches on the significance of the Nyad family name, which derives from the Ancient Greek term for water nymph. He told her she was destined to swim. This connection to mythology adds an intriguing layer to Diana Nyad’s narrative, symbolizing a profound relationship with the element that challenged and defined her. The exploration of her heritage weaves seamlessly into the broader tale, contributing to an understanding of the person behind her accomplishments.

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About the Contributor
Michelle Hagge, Staff Writer
Michelle is a Journalism major with a focus in Public Relations, with plans to transfer to San Diego State next fall. Michelle has been working and volunteering in the non-profit sector for a number of years serving Military and their families. Michelle is an avid sports fan and enjoys hiking and running.
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