Netflix released an original documentary short on Friday. As it turns out, it is right in the wheelhouse of this site. I thought I would share my thoughts on it in the hope that you will check it out for yourself. ‘Zion’ tells the story of a disabled athlete competing in collegiate wrestling.

Zion has faced more than his fair share of adversity, as well as physical disability, he has seen abuse and discrimination.

Amateur wrestling is inspiring as it is because of how brutally tough and humbling it can be. You only have to watch the ‘Foxcatcher’ documentary and cinema dramatisation to see that. 

However, ‘Zion’ is perhaps even more inspirational because its protagonist is accomplished in the sport despite impossible odds.

As someone who has always been involved in some form of sport, athletes are a source of inspiration to me. Particularly those that are successful despite massive adversity. Examples include Muhammad Ali and Jack Johnson. I wrote my dissertation on it so this documentary struck a chord with me.

These Vice style sporting docs are powerful because sport is a microcosm; it captures the whole range of human emotion. Director Floyd Russ illustrates the emotion of Zion’s battle by intercutting real footage with effects and dramatisations.

The music is operatic, the director finds dramatic lighting in ordinary places, but you can feel every aspect of the sporting environment. It is theatrical and authentic in equal measure.

Short but effective, this is eleven minutes to set you up for the week. If this does not motivate you, nothing will. Original content like this justifies the subscription alone.

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