We’re not going anywhere anytime soon, which is perfect if, like me, you’re all about working and watching the Olympics. Cinemas are still closed and I’m not going to cry on the possibility of missing the new Leos Carax, Annette. At least not yet.
Instead, here are three sports films to pair with your Olympics watching:
Offside (SBS On Demand) is an Iranian comedy by Jafar Panahi about a woman who disguises as a boy to attend a World Cup qualifier football match at the stadium, against the law. Panahi’s critique of the Iranian government is matched only by his sense of humour and love for his culture and prima joys of sport.
Hoop Dreams (Stan) is one of those quintessential documentaries, now considered one of the most influential American films of any genre, ever. Director Steve James follows two African-American high-school students in their pursuit to become professional basketball players and leave their impoverished neighbourhood behind. It’s both sad and life-affirming but, above all, truthful to an honest and unapologetic experience of the American Dream.
When was the last time you watched Chariots of Fire (Disney+)? Because here’s the good thing – it holds up. Yes, the prestige film aesthetic has been overused in the past two decades, but Hugh Hudson’s film practically invented it. The story of two British runners, one Christian and one Jewish, overcame personal issues, politics and prejudice to achieve Olympic glory. It’s the only mainstream film to touch on the perseverance of the athletic spirit, but only because it did it so well no one else dared to try again.