- Missing Basic Background for a Documentary 1/1/2020 12:00:00 AM by cryin1985
Although I enjoyed watching the journey of an elite Russian rhythmic gymnast as she prepares for a possible Olympic birth, this was difficult to watch on many levels. Bullying through verbal abuse is on full display and how it effects the three main women involved in this documentary. If you do not have some basic knowledge of rhythmic gymnastics and the three women involved, this documentary does not give you enough information to fill in the gaps. Understanding more background on the two coaches would have added some much needed context.
- Touch of Evil 7/28/2018 12:00:00 AM by paul2001sw-1
If you made up the story of 'Olympic Dreams of Russian Gold' (a rubbish title by the way - you could just as easily call it 'Russian dreams of Olympic Gold' and not lose any meaning, suggesting it is really just a random collection of vaguely suitable words thrown together at random for aesthetic effect - but I digress), you might not beleive it. A beautiful, talented but apparently tender-hearted youung Russian gynmast is bullied relentlessly by her coaches ahead of the Olympics. What they do is not coaching at all in any sense that I would recognise: rather, it reminds one more of the world of 'Full Metal Jacket': even if they aren't pumping her full of performance enhancing drugs, this is abuse of the highest level. One's ability to enjoy the extraordinary athleticism on display, meanwhile, is offset by the extent to which the competitotrs are sexualised - and forced to perform in what is little more than underwear. The narrative points in one direction - my only spoiler is that the final updates we receive are not what I was expecting, but complete the story arc as a grand tragedy. I found this a harrowing film to watch: in general, I'm not in favour of a punitive legal system, but it made me want to take those responsible, lock them up, and throw away the key, and I don't care how many champions they have produced.
- Shows the price of winning at any cost. 10/9/2020 12:00:00 AM by maidwell-45616
The film-maker (herself an ex gymnast) has used an extremely sparse style of documentary making here. There's no back-story, no intro, no interviews, no beautiful juxtaposition and no narration. It's a very effective way to make the viewer uneasy and wrong footed from the start... And that's how you should feel watching this true life horror show.... Unless you are into 70 minutes of verbal and psychologic abuse of course!
Now as for the main protagonists themselves... it's the story of a high level gymnast and her two coaches preparing her for the olympics in 2016. What we are unflinchingly witness to is nothing short of verbal and psychological abusive. How a fellow human being can treat someone in such a degrading, disrespectful and abusive way in the name of making them better at a SPORT is utterly beyond me. Yes the gymnast was eventually very successful, but at what cost mentally?!One coach is so used to saying and doing whatever she pleases she thinks nothing of saying the most vile things in the name of "toughening up the gentle soul" of her young star, the other coach veers wildly from doing exactly the same one moment, to extremely inapropriate physical contact the next. It's very disturbing to watch.And don't even start me on the IMDb description of the documentary, who wrote that ... The coaches themselves?! Calling this girl "emotionally fragile" is utterly ridiculous, the unflinching strength she shows in withstanding the bullying only makes the abuse even harder to swallow.Watch it not for the pleasure of perfect elegance but as a study of a beautiful SPORT (as in something done for enjoyment) completely corrupted by the selfish human need for power and glory.
- I wouldn't call it a documentary. 7/9/2019 12:00:00 AM by anitabphoto
I'm convinced people just like to watch cruelty. This isnt much of a documentary. Theres no narrative or structure whatsoever. It's just a compilation of "two Russian ladies abusing a young Russian girl" scenes. It's both boring and upsetting. Also, who wrote the description of this film, the coaches? "Mental fragility." She was the least fragile person in the doc.
- Inspirational 9/27/2018 12:00:00 AM by cherylkyrandia
I'd been waiting some time for this to come out. As a gymnast myself, I totally felt this character. The actor did a brilliant job. Well done!