Irish Film Institute -IFI & DIFF: THE SWIMMING DIARIES + Q&A


Director: Susan Thomson

100 mins, Ireland, 2024, Digital

Reel Art

The Swimming Diaries originated as a book, a memoir exactly 25,000 words long, with each word representing one of the 25,000 metres or strokes swum by Susan Thomson during the month when her mother was dying. The film translates the book back into movement, hovering between experimental documentary, musical theatre and contemporary opera to trace a journey from life to death. Thomson’s moving tribute, a feminist exploration of matrilineal creativity, is at times surreal – conjuring the effects of morphine taken in the last stages of illness, as it interweaves choral, orchestral and pop music, and a vivid mosaic of underwater imagery, dance sequences and archive video of musicals directed by her mother.

Followed by a Q&A with director Susan Thomson.

Tickets available on

Book Tickets

Wednesday 28th