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Pantani: The Accidental Death Of A Cyclist [Blu-ray]
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"Pantani's is perhaps the greatest cycling story ever told"--Ned Boulting
"Essential watching even for anyone who can't stand the sport" ****--Total Film
"Stunning portrayal of a great sporting tragedy" ****--Rouleur
In 1998 Marco Pantani, the most flamboyant and popular cyclist of his era, won both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia--a titanic feat of physical and mental endurance that no rider has repeated since. He was a hero to millions--the saviour of professional cycling following the doping scandals which threatened to destroy the sport. However, less than six years later, aged just 34, he died alone, in a cheap Italian hotel room.
This film is not just about cycling but an emotional exploration of what drives athletes to compete; man versus mountain, athlete versus the system, Marco Pantani versus himself.
Extended interviews with Greg LeMond, Matt Rendell and Richard Williams.
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As for the actual documentary- it brings together many of the important people in Pantani's life to develop an picture of a complex and passionate individual. We live in a world shaped by media that prefers simplified binary oppositions- people are either for us or against us, good or bad- however this documentary challenges that simplistic dichotomy- it is too easy to condemn pro cyclists from that era for all being "bad people who cheated using drugs" but this work places everything in context. While not condoning what went on during a dark period for cycling, it forces viewers to ask themselves honestly what choices they would have made in the same position.
There is also a tendency among many to promote Pantani to the sainthood, such are the myths and narratives that were built around him, but again Erskine avoids this- the film doesn't judge Pantani, it simply offers opportunities to understand a very complex man who struggled a lot internally. It is to Erskine's credit that he cut through a lot of the protective bubble people close to Pantani erected to preserve his legend, and it humanises him all the more.Read more ›
Its a great and well filmed documentary with lots of information I wasn't aware of. It takes a look at that era without focusing on Lance Armstrong (as so many others have).
Its very poignant as it uses members of his close friends and families - in particular his mother talks about how she always encouraged his love of cycling as she saw it as something healthy and social.....but she realised after that Marco was being pushed from a healthy love of sport and competition towards the sole quest of winning...and this unfortunately had to involve drugs in that era...
Well worth checking out and as good as the lance armstrong documentary (which was also excellent!)
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