A Turning Point

It’s always fun to watch these films, even when they aren’t the best. At the very least we get to see the clothing, the setting, something of the place, and learn some of the stories.

After watching so many of these films, I’ve seen a lot of different approaches to what makes a good one.

There are merits to most of them, as I’ve written about along this journey. My least favorite so far though, is the approach of treating it simply as a sporting event to be covered.

Because there are so many events, we really only see the winners, we never see any of the actual competition in a sports style way. What it ends up being is a boring recitation of the names and records of the people who won.

This film adds as an insult to the injury a focus on American athletes. That type of nationalism is of course rampant in this series, but this might be the first time it’s been for a nation that wasn’t the one hosting the games.

I suppose that’s what you get when the official film of the Sarajevo games was made by an American crew. The film is in English, the style is very 80’s American sports-news-documentary, and it suffers for both.

But especially it suffers for trying to simply present a sporting event, rather than attempting any kind of larger look into what makes the Olympic games so special.

How can the filmmakers possibly do that, when they so clearly don’t understand it themselves. What a shame.

yugoslavia, 1984, 1.37:1, english