Netflix’s Icarus: A Review

Scandals are commonplace in the world today. We hear about them every day on the internet, on news channels, even through word of mouth. Big or small, these scandals affect the population in a negative way. There will be many people jumping in on it on social media, condemning an event or person for what they caused and what was hidden over the years that was brought to light. When it happens to a person we have looked up to for years it’s a punch to the gut and a stab to the heart. What happens when it’s on an international scale?

Icarus is a documentary by Bryan Fogel about the Russian doping scandal uncovered in 2016. The documentary details Bryan Fogel’s journey into the experimental world of doping in sports and how it led him to the largest doping scandal in Olympic history.

For those who are not aware of the scandal, the story was published by The New York Times in 2016. Grigory Rodchenkov’s testimony detailed Russia’s state-sponsored doping program and how it affected past summer and winter Olympic events. Rodchenkov was originally the team’s doctor, working late at night close to the stadium in Sochi. The process of cheating drug tests was detailed by Rodchenkov and led to the Olympic committee temporarily banning Russia from competing in any other Olympic sporting events. He does not regret telling this information, but it does put his life in danger.

The film will keep you intrigued until the very end, wondering what will happen to Fogel and everyone else involved as the scandal breaks. The connections to many other smaller doping scandals, from Lance Armstrong to Barry Bonds, helps put into perspective what Bryan Fogel planned to achieve in this film as well as provide information as to how deep scandals can go.

The film drags in places in which there are slow moments that reflect on the weight of the situation, but those don’t last long as there is always some interesting scenes around the corner. Information is presented in a way so that keeps you interested and glued to the screen for the duration of the movie.

Overall, Icarus is a long, detailed look into the controversial world of doping and how it affects athletes as well as the Olympics. If you want a film to keep you interested and keeps you guessing, this is the movie to watch. With its suspenseful and emotional moments, this is one documentary you don’t want to miss.

The film was nominated for and won Best Documentary at the 2018 Oscars. Icarus is now available for streaming only on Netflix.

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