We all love sports. We all watch our favourite teams, or players featuring in a competition very closely. Our absolute wish for them is to win. We all celebrate when they win and feel dejected when they lose. All of us get disheartened when our favourite players retire or stop playing our favourite sport. Well, this is the beauty of sports.
There have been efforts to enhance the undisputed beauty and popularity of sports and sportsmen by adding the flavours of film-making and shaping them in the form of a documentary. These documentaries take you back to your fandom days, showing more of your dearest ideals than you had witnessed apparently. Furthermore, these documentaries exhibit behind the scene footage, journeys, celebrations, regrets and everything that used to happen between the units. Indeed, a lot of these sports documentaries have been a huge hit in the film industry, and some of them have gone on to win awards as well. In this piece, we have covered the top 5 sports documentaries covering different sports.
Directed by Asif Kapadia, a 2 hour documentary on Argentine football legend Diego Maradona was released in 2019, a year before his tragic death. Maradona’s infamous journey starts in 1984 when he transferred to the Italian club Napoli. Undoubtedly, it was one of the greatest moments of his career which took him to new heights through his unmatched skill, talent and gameplay. But there’s more to the story, his struggle to handle the fame and some addictions that led to serious health problems. Moreover, the direction in the documentary is worth mentioning, as it managed to uncover unknown things about the legend himself through interviews. You can find this documentary on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Jimmy Chin’s masterpiece Free Solo revolves around the American climber named Alex Honnold who went on to climb El Capitan, a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park. The 100-minute documentary exhibits the climber’s sheer resilience and determination, knowing his life was at stake. To emphasize, any misjudged foot placement would have caused nothing less than death. The company of Chin and his crew with Alex and their fright make the film more interesting. Free Solo is an Oscar-winning documentary and has earned public recognition all over the world. You can watch Free Solo on Hulu and Disney+
3) THE LAST DANCE
An ESPN production directed by Jason Hehir, The Last Dance is a Netflix docuseries based on the journey of the greatest player to play basketball, Michael Jordan. The series has the main focus on Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls, with interviews and footage from his overall journey. Moreover, the series features other famous players like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and Magic Johnson. Michael’s exceptional skill and talent are beautifully exhibited in the whole series with some controversies and untold stories. In addition to this, the series covers Jordan’s brand image and his business deals, including a breakthrough deal with Nike. All in all, even if you are not aware of the sport, this series will make you fall in love with basketball.
4) I AM BOLT
I AM BOLT is a British documentary directed by Benjamin Turner and Gabe Turner. It is a biographical film on Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. Bolt is the fastest recorded man on earth. He is a three-time gold medalist and was considered an invincible sprinter. A 1hr 47min movie revolves around Usain Bolt’s journey to win 9 gold medals, and the events surrounding his Olympic wins. The documentary is witty and inspirational making it a really good watch. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.
5) INDIA VS PAKISTAN: A BAT AND BALL WAR
This 1999 documentary is way ahead of its time. The documentary covers the Pakistan cricket team’s tour to India for two test match series after 12 years. This was the first bilateral tour between two countries since 1987 amidst all the political tension and unrest. Pakistanis had all sorts of threats from the extremists in India, but the series went on quite well. The two-match series was staged in Chennai and Delhi. The best part of the documentary is when the home crowd in Chennai gives a standing ovation to the victorious visitors. Available on YouTube, this documentary is a must-watch for all cricket fans.
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