7/06/2017

Trailer For Netflix Doc 'Icarus' Exposes Russia's Olympic-Level Cheating


There have always been jokes about the Russians and how far they'd go to win Olympic medals. I think we've seen, through our own recent Presidential elections, that cheating to get what they want is very much a part of their repertoire. But how deep does all of it go? Bryan Fogel's controversial Sundance documentary Icarus exposes the Russian doping scandal that rocked the Sochi Olympics.

What's interesting about the film is Fogel's hook, which finds the director and cyclist doping himself, under supervision of Russian doctor Grigory Rodchenkov, who would eventually turn whistleblower exposing Russia's sports program. Here's the synopsis:

In the truly audacious documentary ICARUS, director Bryan Fogel’s bold gambit was this: to investigate doping in sports, Fogel (an amateur bike racer) would dope himself, observe the changes in his performance, and see if he could evade detection. In doing so, he was connected to a renegade Russian scientist, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a pillar of his country’s “anti-doping” program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program. When the truth is more complex than imagined, and accusations of illegalities run to Russia’s highest chains of command, the two realize they hold the power to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory. Exemplifying the special bond between filmmaker and subject, this is a vital portrait of the sacrifice some people will make to stand up for truth. ICARUS places you at the heart of an international game of cat and mouse, where a miscalculation can cost you your life.

While I missed the film at Sundance, I heard really good things about it there and am interested in seeing where it goes. That said, I've also heard there's been some editing done to it, so who knows how much has changed from the version that was screened. Netflix will debut Icarus on August 4th, because apparently they get all of the documentaries now.