In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. Is it any wonder that so many of our heroes are on performance enhancing ... See full summary »
Quad rugby as played by the US team, between 2002 games in Sweden and the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. Young men, most with spinal injuries, play this rough and tumble sport in special chairs, seated gladiators. We get to know several and their families. They talk frankly about their injuries, feelings in public, sex lives, competitiveness, and love of the game. There's also an angry former team member gone north to coach the Canadian team, tough on everyone, including his viola-playing son. We meet a recently injured man, in rehab, at times close to despair, finding possible joy in quad rugby. After Athens, the team meets young men injured in war: the future stars of Team USA. Written by
Christopher Igoe originally refused to appear in the movie. After more than a year of filming he was persuaded by the need to put his side of the story, rather than have it "mis-told" by others. See more »
Tell us about Wheelchair Rugby.
We had been calling it Murderball, but you can't market Murderball to corporate sponsors.
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This recent documentary about quadrapalegics playing a violent form of rugby never found its expected audience. It was expected to be a breakout hit of last summer and was even released under the MTV Films label. It was eclipsed by last summer's surprise hit doc "March of the Penguins." Is it any good? The scenes in which we follow the players in their day to day lives are great. One portion of the film follows a recently paralyzed motorcross racer and his excitement in discovering the sport. These moments are touching, inspiring, and the doc's best moments.
The sport, though, is either filmed poorly by the directors or its just not that exciting. These moments are reminiscent of Oliver Stone's football scenes in "Any Given Sunday"--I can see a lot of bodies of banging together, but don't ask me what the heck is going on. It appears that who ever has possession of the ball is likely to score meaning that winning the game comes down to having the ball in the closing seconds.
As a sports doc, it falls short. It greatly succeeds, though, in exploring the lives of the athletes.
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