A man gets out of prison after 15 years for stabbing his wife to death, and his social worker becomes convinced he was innocent. As she researches his case, and interviews other people who ... See full summary »
When her surrogate father who owns the casino she works in gets murdered, Modesty Blaise takes on those that killed him and are now at the casino to rob it. It turns out she is more than just a modest worker.
Gabriella, a Colombian immigrant, is obsessed with understanding violent crime. The current string of murders by "The Blue Blood Killer" of affluent Miami socialites provides her with ... See full summary »
Zed has only just arrived in the beautiful Paris and already he's up to no good. Having just slept with a call girl, he spends a night on the town with his dangerous friends. They all ... See full summary »
A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities.
I'll admit I had misgivings. Was this going to be a hackneyed, pathos-dripping American documentary with a naïve voice-over commentary, relegating the "local talent" to the role of extras and curiosities? Within two or three minutes it was obvious it was not - there is a sensitivity and an unhurried feel (though there is action enough for anyone, in and out of the water) to the making of this film that could teach many a lesson. The protagonists are given room to tell their story, and - particularly in the case of those who lived the Uprising and several very articulate and immensely likable members of the Hungarian Olympic side - they grab it with both hands and effectively take things over.
The history, and the tragedy of what went down in the fall of 1956, is also presented in detail and not in sound-bites for the attention-deficient, and you are left with a feeling that everyone involved knew that they were dealing with a subject that deserved their full attention, and that they had amazing picture material that should be allowed to speak for itself. Gripping, heartwarming, uplifting, some seamless blending of archive footage and modern recreations, and worthy of a much larger audience.
Kudos to Mark Spitz, too, for a job well done, but then again, when you read the final credits you know why - how could he have DARED to let his old schoolboy coach down?
As a side observation, it was good to see the members of the defeated Soviet water polo team in good cheer. When the Soviet Union's football team was defeated by Yugoslavia at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, just four years after Tito had humiliated Stalin politically, the players did not fare quite so well. Stalin had expected much more out of the country's first appearance at the Olympics. He immediately disbanded CSKA Moscow, who had provided most of the national side, the result of the game was not published in the USSR until 1954 (a year after his death), and many of the unfortunate players (let's face it, they only had the bad luck to come up against a very very good Yugoslav team, who took the silver medals behind the magnificent Hungarians and Ferenc Puskas) allegedly wound up in labour camps. At least Nikita Khrushchev did not stoop THAT low in 1956. There is also quite a good TV-documentary about this particularly ugly footnote in footballing history, but I cannot for the life of me find it now...
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