Strongman and magician Mike Swistun was, for thirty days in 1923, the strongman with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Born in Olha, Manitoba, Swistun was a Ukrainian farm boy, who, for a short moment in time, achieved fame and fortune only to lose it. Narrated by the Ukrainian Hollywood actor Jack Palance, this film won the prestigious Genie Award in 1981.

The Strongest Man in the World tells an almost fairytale story of how a farmboy from Olha became a star in the most famous circus in the world. On the other hand it presents, through period photographs and vintage film clips, a few insights into the past of this region during the years of settlement. Kuchmij provides tangible proof that the past can be far from colourless and tedious because the past survives with those who lived it.

Shooting Format


Additional Details

Available Subtitle

Screening Formats

  • DVD,
  • 16 mm,
  • AppleProRes,
  • BluRay,
  • H.264,


Provided By

  • Winnipeg Film Group logo