The Swedish Torpedo

World War II is around the corner, but the only thing Sally Bauer can think of is the ocean. Her dream is to swim across the English Channel. Her father has tried to exorcise her obsession with swimming since she was a toddler, without success.

An unwanted pregnancy forces her to abandon her dream – and herself. The child’s father does not want to be involved, so as a woman in the ‘30s in Sweden, Sally has no choice but to do what is expected of her: to be a mother. There is no place left for her dreams and Sally is pulled into bottomless darkness, until her sister Carla saves her. With renewed purpose, together the sisters begin to dismantle the conventions they are constantly facing.

In late August 1939, Sally stands on the shore at Dover and takes her first step into the English Channel. She swims across the open and icy sea for 15 hours, waving to the Navy who are readying for war. A couple of days after Sally swims ashore at Calais, Poland is invaded.

Photo: Johan Bergmark Frida Kempff

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