Daily Archives: December 1, 2005

Murderball (2005)

A fascinating look into the world of international wheelchair rugby, a high-octane game of bumper cars. This is a mere 80-minute movie and yet the wallop it packs can be felt long after. In such a short amount of time you get to understand the people, you really get involved in their drama and social situations, their competitive nature. Murderball explores so much of a little-seen world; I love the segment where they frankly talk about sex after their accidents. The help video that advises what sexual positions may be best for people in wheelchairs is hilarious. I never thought about it but there has to be quad groupies out there licking their lips. Mark Zupan comes across as nothing short of a superhero, and he’s just being himself. The film is surprisingly moving and poignant, with many uplifting scenes without ever getting sentimental. This movie earns every emotion. The people featured don’t want to get sentimental, they don?t want your pity; they just want to be treated the same how they were before their accidents. The wheelchair rugby bouts are exciting, with lots of interesting camerawork and useful animation. I loved immersing myself in this unusual sport, learning the point system depending upon the ability of movement with each person. This is an expertly crafted documentary with tight, rock-solid editing (it won an award for it at Sundance). You get this wealth of emotions and stories in at 80 minutes with enough time to close on an extended montage at the 2004 Paralympic games in Athens. It?s incredible seeing them turn their wheelchairs into these chariots of destruction. You get a great sense of the people and their world. This is the best documentary since the exceptional 2002 doc Spellbound, and Murderball is nothing short of the BEST film of 2005.

Nate’s Grade: A

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