Thursday, 29 May 2008

Bigger, Stronger, Faster * The Side Effects of Being American

Dir: Christopher Bell
USA

Seen: April 23, 2008 at Hot Docs 2008

This is a documentary that not only explores the use of steroids but also the personal journey of Christopher Bell and a portrait of his family. Growing up during the age Hulkamania and action stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, the goal for him and his brothers was clear: get big and be successful. But in reality, and is it even possible? If it is possible, can it be done legally? Are steroids the only answer to get pumped? This is a fascinating film looking at the reasons behind use of steroids and also covers health concerns, legal issues and links to current sports. The film is filled with not only personal archival footage but great clips of action films and wrestling moments. A stellar film.

This film was one of my unexpectedly loved films of Hot Docs 2008. Although I'm not American and it's been years since I lifted weights I felt very connected to the common experience of growing up watching wrestling and action movies.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll buy it
I highly recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2008

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