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 »
"Anyone Else But You"
Written by Adam Green and Kimya Dawson
Performed by The Moldy Peaches
Published by Average Cabbage Music (BMI) and Great Crap Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Rough Trade/Sanctuary Records Group See more »
Murderball is a sport otherwise known as Wheelchair / Quad Rugby. Played by quadriplegics, it is a 4 on 4 rugby game on wheels, which requires plenty of strength, speed, and that armoured wheelchair which almost doubles as a kind of bumper car as the sportsmen battle it out for supremacy on a regular basketball court.
This documentary showcases the game from both the points of view of Team USA and Team Canada, highlighting the intense rivalry between them, with Team Canada inheriting a disgruntled ex-Team USA star player Joe Soares, who's now their head coach. Naturally when you have someone who knows your team strategy and know it inside out, is a cause for concern, as Team USA seeks to continue its winning streak, with new star player Mark Zupan in its fold.
But it's not just about the game, or just the preparation for the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004. In its compact 85 minutes, we get introduced to the key players like Zupan, and go behind the scenes to see what makes them tick, as well as their backstories on how they have become confined to a wheelchair. Not everyone is born without limbs, and for most, it's usually an accident, or a disease. Family ties are given equally adequate screen time, as support for these folks, as do any other sporting professional, is as important, especially after facing a huge loss while representing the country.
It's a bit hilarious as they account for the stares and innocent requests of help extended to by strangers, and you've got to salute these guys' strength, independence and confidence that comes with the sport. Besides the game, they do go around the country to inspire others who have recently suffered the same predicament of being in a wheelchair, to advise that it's not a lost cause.
And while they reminisce about how they had to adjust to their condition, I suppose the common question they all had was, does their woody still work. And surprisingly, it's this curiosity amongst chicks that actually assist them in snagging them, ha! But light hearted moments aside, it's almost always never easy in picking life back up again, as everyone harbours the dream that one day, they will walk again.
For those who have followed the team's exploits in the previous Athens Olympic Games, will already know the outcome of the game. Done in MTV styled quick cuts with adrenaline pumping music, the games shown in the documentary don't bore. But as the cliché goes, it's never about the destination, but about the journey. Best wishes to all the athletes competing in Beijing 2008!
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