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Movie Review: ‘Icarus’, A Jaw-Dropping Revelation of Russian Doping Scandal

With the ongoing Tokyo 2020, ‘ROC’ or ‘Russian doping scandal’ became the talk of the town. With Russian President Vladimir Putin in a central role, Icarus shares how Russian doping specialists and intelligence agents made it possible for their athletes to cheat.

Premiered at Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017, Icarus was awarded the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award or also known as Orwell Award. This documentary film by Bryan Fogel tells the story of his own exploration of doping to win an amateur cycling race with the help of Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory. Icarus was globally released on August 4, 2017, and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards. Today, you can watch it on Netflix.

What ‘Icarus’ Is About

When the filmmaker Bryan Fogel, also an amateur cyclist tries to cheat the system in the same way that Lance Armstrong did for years, he also gets to uncover the truth about doping in sports. The first half-hour of Icarus centered on Fogel injecting drugs to increase his stamina. He even got Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Russian anti-doping program to guide him.

And then the documentary takes an unexpected turn. Rodchenkov becomes an international whistleblower and the personal experiment turned into a geopolitical thriller. Tainted urine, sudden death, and Olympic gold are exposed alongside the biggest scandal in sports history.

What Can Be Said About ‘Icarus’

Icarus helps people around the world to fully understand what happened in Russia and the reason for their ban from the Olympics games. Written by a reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes, it says, “Icarus is eye-opening viewing for professional sports enthusiasts, yet it should also prove thoroughly gripping even for filmgoers who might not necessarily be drawn to the subject.”

Sources: Roger Ebert, The Guardian, LA Times, Rotten Tomatoes

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