[edit] # 20:22

Murderball is a documentary that I'm gonna call "a raucous good time"... (for the soundbyte). The filmmakers (Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro) focus mostly on the rivalry between the quad rugby teams of the USA and Canada.

The doc is an unexpectedly uplifting and insightful look into a sport that at the time of the movie's making in 2004 - doesn't have sponsors in the way of sports such as basketball, which it shares a court with and is visually tied to. I found myself being excited to learn about a sport that doesn't receive much exposure.

The filmmakers chose to focus on a few key members of the USA team and a former USA team member, Joe, now a Canadian team coach. The coach has a huge bone to pick with the US team and the story focuses heavily on the rivalry between the two.

Besides the inevitable heartwarming stories inherent in a doc of this nature, there are quick shots and a lot of humor on the screen. I felt myself laughing at the profiled players and their bigger than life personalities, it was easy to see past the wheelchairs into the heart of their competitiveness.

I'm not a sports fan, but enjoyed Murderball immensely. I hope the doc will blow the sport out of obscurity into big corporate sponsorship territory.

Murderball plays on April 28 at the wheelchair accessible Kanbar Hall (JCCSF) and April 29 at the AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres as part of the SF International Film Festival.

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