Home Sports 6 films and documentaries to prepare for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics – Magazine

6 films and documentaries to prepare for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics – Magazine

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The Olympic Games they go beyond sport: they are a mirror of the period in which they take place and are often distinguished by wonderful ones stories of friendship, revenge and social struggle. Precisely for this reason, they offer great inspiration to directors, documentary makers and screenwriters who love to tell exploits of athletes that go out of the ordinary. We therefore advise you six films and documentaries ideal for approaching the next edition of the Games, which will take place from 23 July to 8 August in the Japanese capital.

Moments of glory

“Moments of Glory” (directed by Hugh Hudson) is a 1981 masterpiece that won four Oscars and left its mark thanks to the unmistakable soundtrack soundtrack by the Greek composer Vangelis. The film focuses on story Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, two British sprinters who participated in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Liddell, a Christian, conceived running as a way to pay homage to God; Abrahams, a Jew, as a means to rebel against the snobbish and glossy context in which he always grew up. Both, however, were united by an extraordinary talent and united by a special friendship. “Moments of Glory” is available in streaming for rent on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and CHILI.


Released in 1997 and directed by Steve James, the film tells the story of Steve Prefontaine, an American middle-distance runner who finished fourth in the 5,000-meter flat at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Why did he become so famous for fourth place? Prefontaine approached that competition with a lot of madness and little tactics, pushing the group and leading for most of the ride. In the last stretch of the track, however, he was overtaken by the public’s disbelief. Prefontaine was a controversial, stubborn and impulsive character: the perfect identikit to dedicate a film to him not to be missed. It is available for rent streaming on Google Play and can be purchased on DVD or Blu-ray on Amazon.

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The Weight of Gold

“The Weight of Gold” is only available in English, but it’s worth the extra effort to enjoy it from start to finish. This is a documentary released in the period in which the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games was made official due to the pandemic: a moment of pause that served to reflect on mental health of great athletes internationally renowned, often seen (wrongly) as superheroes that they are not. This is precisely the theme of “The Weight of Gold”, the weight of gold, directed by Brett Rapkin and produced by the famous swimmer Michael Phelps. The documentary is full of testimonies of Olympic athletes struggling with mental health problems: from Michael Phelps to David Boudia, through Apolo Ohno, Shaun White and Lolo Jones. “The Weight of Gold” is available in streaming on the website of the US television broadcaster HBO.

Race – The color of victory

Jesse Owens, at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, won the gold medal in the long jump before Adolf Hitler’s gaze, present in the stands to cheer the German Luz Long (beaten in the final by Owens). The African-American sprinter and long-distance runner, also in Berlin, took gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100 meters relay. This is enough to define the greatness of Jesse Owens, whose life and sports career is narrated in a compelling way in “Race – The Color of Victory”, released in 2016 and directed by Stephen Hopkins. The athlete had to fight all his life against racism, which at the time was rampant and imbued in every corner of society. For this reason, his exploits acquired a much deeper meaning. The film is available on Amazon Prime Video and can be rented on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play and CHILI.

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Not only Jesse Owens: the 196 Berlin Olympics will always be remembered thanks to the story of Louis Zamperini, to whom this 2014 film is dedicated produced and directed by Angelina Jolie. Zamperini, an Italian-American, has lived two lives: that of an Olympic athlete (he was a middle distance runner), which began almost by chance during a very difficult moment for his adolescence, and that of a war hero. The film, in fact, begins with Zamperini inside a US Air Force B-24 during the bombing of the Japanese island of Nauru in 1943. An exciting story, to say the least, enhanced by the excellent skills of the British actor Jack O ‘ Connell, who played Zamperini. “Unbroken” is available on Netflix and can be rented on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play and CHILI.

Rising Phoenix – The history of the Paralympics

A Netflix docufilm that traces – starting from the second post-war period – the history of the Paralympics, a sporting event capable of enhancing the diversity and qualities of athletes with physical disabilities. Among the protagonists there is also Bebe Vio, world and European champion in Paralympic individual foil.

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