Sven Yrvind, 83 years old, has become a Swedish world celebrity through his solo sailings across the world's oceans. What initially looks like risky adventures on merciless seas is perhaps to an even greater extent an inner journey, which asks the question: How do we really want to live our lives?
In the Viaplay documentary Philosopher of the Sea (original title Havsfilosofen) we get to follow Yrvind during five years of constructing his own boats to sail non-stop from Ireland and New Zealand. Philosopher of the Sea is a Viaplay Documentary and will premiere in spring 2023 on Viaplay.
- The sea is the same as it’s always been. It is where I am the happiest and people are at their best, says Sven Yrvind.
For five years, we get to follow closely how Sven Yrvind builds his boat and prepares for the hardship of being alone at sea and letting the winds take him between Ireland and New Zealand, a journey of almost 15.000 miles across the open sea. The journey is estimated to take 300 days. Many believe that the 83-year-old's project is madness, but Yrvind himself thinks he is one of the few sane people in the world.
- People say we should have big boats for increased comfort, but big boats make you tired and bored. A boat that is modest in size is sustainable and requires few non-renewable resources. It is also safer. It gives its owner more joy than a large boat. A small boat makes you agile and lively. We need to get away from the consumer society as we don't get any happier from increased consumption, says Sven Yrvind.
The documentary shows not only the physical obstacles that age brings, but also the psychological as well as philosophical questions an 83-year-old adventurer faces as he approaches the final years of his life. Through Yrvind's own stories and those of his friends, a picture is given of his background and what made him choose this path in life – as a hermit of the sea distanced from conventional society.
- It’s been 60 years since I first left Sweden on my own keel. Thanks to boats, I’ve learned a lot about the surrounding world and its people. I’ve had the opportunity to see different countries from a completely different perspective. I’ve seen places that cannot be reached without a boat. The sea is always the same as it has always been. That's where I'm the happiest and people are at their best, in the calm that comes from the sea, says Yrvind.
In the documentary, we also meet Yrvind's close friends and hear about their joint journeys and how he has inspired others to change their lives. Philosopher of the Sea is not primarily a film about sailing but asks questions about what kind of life we want to live, about consumer society, about death and aging, and whether it is possible to lead a lifestyle that goes outside the norm.
- The tale of Sven Yrvind is a fantastic story about a Swede who became world famous by going his own way, and who’s achievements and adventures left the entire sailing world amazed. He asks important questions about life, death, consumer society and how we live today, and I think it will make many of our viewers think about what is most important in life, says Filippa Wallestam, EVP and Chief Content Officer at Viaplay Group.
Yrvind was the first Swedish solo sailor to round Cape Horn, which placed him at the top of the sailing world's Hall of Fame. For that, in 1980, he was awarded the Royal Cruising Club's medal of good seamanship in Great Britain after sailing around the tip of South America in his 5.9-meter boat. He has given lecture to the royal Swedish family, written several books and invented the Bris sextant, which is considered the world's smallest sextant with a weight of three grams.
Philosopher of the Sea is directed by Andreas Eidhagen at The Motor. The producer at The Motor is Annika Gritti. Executive producer at Viaplay Group is Magnus Coinberg. The film is produced by The Motor Moving Pictures AB and co-produced by Claes Helander AB.
The Viaplay documentary Philosopher of the Sea is feature format of approximately 80 minutes and will premiere in spring 2023 on Viaplay.