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Monday, December 19, 2005


Discussions: Rugga World Film Review - 'Murderball'

Source: film review

More than merely a sports documentary or an inspirational profile of triumph over adversity, Murderball offers a refreshing and progressive attitude toward disability while telling unforgettable stories about uniquely admirable people. It's ostensibly a film about quadriplegic rugby (or "Murderball," as it was formerly known), in which players with at least some loss of physical function in all four limbs navigate modified wheelchairs in a hardcore, full-contact sport that takes them all the way to the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 2004.

But as we get to know paralyzed or amputee players on Team USA like Andy Cohn, Scott Hogsett, Bob Lujano and charismatic team spokesman Mark Zupan, we come to understand that quad rugby is a saving grace for these determined competitors, who battle Team Canada coach (and former Team USA superstar) Joe Soares en route to the climactic contest in Athens.

Simply put, Murderball is the best film to date about living with a severe disability, but codirectors Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro avoid the sappy, inspirational sentiment that hampers nearly all mainstream films involving disability. By the time this blazing 85-minute film reaches its emotional conclusion, the issue of disability is almost irrelevant; these guys are as normal as anyone, and their life stories led to Murderball becoming the most critically acclaimed documentary of 2005.

As reviewer Cory K. Schmidt has to say on;

"I agree with the people featured in the film when they say that this is a sports story and not a pity story about handicapped people.

Murderball follows the US National Quad rugby team over a couple years and focuses on 1. the players and how they got to where they are and 2. the US rivalry with Canada's team.

The first point of focus shows how the players ended up in their wheelchairs. One man was infected with a rare bacteria in his childhood and lost most of his arms and his legs, one was thrown off of a deck, one was thrown from a truck and was not found for almost 14 hours.

A couple of non team members are also highlighted. Joe Soares, an ex US star, who was Canada's head coach (many hard feelings there) had polio and Keith, a recently injured young man, was in a motocross accident.

All of the individuals chose to overcome their difficulties to succeed and end up doing things that they would not have done otherwise. It is interesting to see the team at the top of their game cntrasted with Keith who is relearning how to do things only four months after his accident.

The second point of focus follows the bad blood between team USA and Canada's team that stems from Joe Soares's being cut from the US team due to old age and slowness, attempting to sue the US team and then taking a head coach position for Canada. It seems his sole goal in life is to beat the US team. The US team, Mark Zupan in particular, detest Soares and the tension makes for a great rivalry.

The film itself is fantastic and the special features are very good. A follow up interview with Soares, an hour Larry King interview, player and filmaker commentaries and behind the scenes featurette are all worth watching.

The sole extra that I could have done without is the one with the guys from MTV's Jackass. These guys are untalented idiots and are very difficult to watch."
Some of the wheelchair sportman that I have seen is real "Dragons".

It seems to be an interesting culture.

These guys detest pity
must be honest, up and till the time it was mentioned here, i never knew about this sport - would love to know more.  
Have to agree with pissant, I never thought it possible for this sort of sport to exist. I think I'm gonna dig into this sport and see if i can find some more info, maybe you guys can help.  
Intensley disappointing but the Kiwis are world champs in this form of rugby too....


As bad as that Namibian bastard with his beer teasing me....

Hope the sun burns you to a crisp.....
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