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Pantani: The Accidental Death Of A Cyclist [DVD]
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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!)
The film has a wealth of relevant contributors - archive interviews with the man himself as well as recent input from his parents, friends, trainers, team bosses and other notables such as (Sir) Bradley Wiggins and Greg Lemond. It's a pretty sympathetic portrait of Pantani, covering his youth and earlier days as an amateur rider before following him through various Tour De France and Giro D'Italia campaigns. The sad conclusion to the story is of course covered also.
It's hard not to draw comparisons with another recent cycling doc - The Armstrong Lie - which takes a rather less sympathetic view towards its subject although it does cover similar ground, including interesting views on the doping epidemic and investigations from cyclings recent past. This is Pantani's film at heart though and the tone is more of sad regret of the circumstances in general and how it all played out. It doesn't offer any easy answers of course and what happened can be debated endlessly.
The film itself is well put together, including plenty of stirring footage from Pantani's glory days. Various highlights are used, often set to dramatic or sinister music to escalate the tension - it feels like a thriller at times. I'd say it's certainly worth a watch, even for those that don't have a great interest in the sport.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This man is part reason I got back into cycling , great to watch a master at his job ! Sad way to end a life though !Published 3 months ago by George Barnfather
Bought this as a gift for my dad. He said Excellent DVD...Very illuminating yet chilling if truePublished 4 months ago by uncle
Great story regarding the pressures of professional cycling in the 90's.Published 6 months ago by Peter Ramsbottom