Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, ‘Icarus’ is one of those films where the larger implications stick with you a little more than what you see on the screen. Especially right now…
Doing well but never really excelling as a cyclist, Bryan Fogel (also our narrator) hooks up with Girgory Rodchenkov, a leading Russian scientist in the field of ‘sports medicine’. What starts out as a ‘wink wink nudge nudge’ light hearted relationship (with Fogel using my needles on a daily basis than I ever want to see in my life), first turns a little more serious as the Russian team (the ENTIRE Russian team) is briefly banned from competing in the Olympics, then turns legitimately scary as Grigory escapes Russia (leaving his wife and family behind), and eventually ends up in witness protection in America as he goes into detail, on the record, with how Russia has essentially, a state sponsored doping program, and uses the former KGB to make sure its athletes don’t get caught.
Fascinating for what it is, as a documentary on 21st century sports. Interesting because of what else we’ve essentially proven about Russia bending and breaking all protocols to get what it wants and end up on top.
Now streaming on Netflix.