Considering the state of athletics at the moment, Bryan Fogel’s new Netflix documentary has come at the perfect time.
Icarus, which came to the streaming service this month, is about a whole lot more than sporting achievements.
The film won the first-ever Orwell Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and its unique look at doping in elite sport has earned it rave reviews from all corners.
Icarus focuses on attempts to execute “one of the most elaborate doping ploys in all of sports history”, and the broader environment around allegations of performance enhancing drugs which followed a number of Russian athletes.
Fogel’s initial plan was to see how easy it would be to dope himself and avoid detection, calling in the expertise of Russian scientist Dr Grigory Rodchenkov
But it goes beyond that, painting a picture of the political climate in Russia and taking an in-depth look at Dr Rodchenkov himself. All in all it makes for something much more intense than your normal documentary.
It currently has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the Financial Times’ Nigel Andrews saying: “Icarus may be the best non-fiction movie of the year.” and other reviewers comparing its early scenes it to Morgan Spurlock’s award-winning Super Size Me but suggesting it goes in a completely different direction.