Bigger Stronger Faster is one of the most informative and insightful documentaries on use of anabolic steroids in sports especially in America. The documentary made by Bell, who himself has been a veteran in bodybuilding industry, analysis both positive and negative impact of performance enhancing drugs not only in sports but also in other activities.
So is Steroid a dirty word ?
Steroids are nothing but artificial hormones which stimulate artificially body functions.
The documentary which has very high ratings in IMDB and Rotten Tomato’s, takes a scientific and logical approach in understanding the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports in America. The pressures to succeed in sports due to huge economics plays a fundamental role on athletes to outperform peers for any advantage which gives them a competitive edge. The era of 80 and 90s played a huge role in defining some models for youngsters around the world especially in bodybuilding which lead many to take performance enhancing drugs. If you do compare action stars in movies now as compared to those some decades earlier, you can see a visible difference in physique and athleticism. Today action stars like Tom Hardy, Christopher Nolan, Eric Bana and Daniel Craig to just name a few have by far much less pumped and ripped as compared to their predecessors in action movies while being more athletic, fitness and conversant of martial arts. The action scenes look much more realistic with an all round approach to physical well being. We could say that the generation which will grow up in the next decade will have a better understanding of fitness and well being.
The documentary uses many examples and views of leading experts in this field (both those for and against the use of performance enhancing drugs) to give a more holistic view on use of steroids. The case of Ben Johnson is very well articulated around the world but the stunning revelation about Carl Lewis’s own personal history of using enhancing performance drugs is an eye opener.
The documentary also elucidates on Ethics and Morality whether it is judicious to use performance improvement drugs especially in high octane sports wherein almost everyone is using some form of banned substance to give that extra edge. This leaves us with a Catch 22 situation especially since some of the top athletes might not be using any of the banned substances but would be difficult to comprehend.
In words of Christopher Bell, director of the documentary, use of banned anabolic steroids in America is side effects of being an American. Beg to differ a bit here, in the end the choice is always with you. There are many who have never taken any steroids or any banned performance enhancing drugs and have not let peers or industry define their lifestyle. To take life in your hands is to decide on the priorities which you want to emphasize on to lead a life of well being and harmony. Easier said than done, its time for all youngsters and teenagers around the world, not to make anyone a hero, raise the person on a pedestal especially people from the media industry whose life you really do not know much about. The benchmark always must be you…yourself. Its time Americans have faith in their own abilities.
Remember destination is important but not everything…If the ride to the destination is not filled with harmony, judicious fun, ethics and harmony then reaching the destination is of no consequence and importance, very evident fro the substance abuse like Cocaine among many celebrities and successful people.
A very well made documentary, this is a must watch for anyone who inspires to be an athlete or just wants to get an inside perspective about the athletic industry in America and in many ways about sports industry around the world. Informative, funny, creative, analytical back with multitudes of interviews with star athletes this is the very best of research, journalism and scientific know how with moral overtones, which we have come to expect from Americans. It would have been superlative if we could have had a global panorama of sports especially Soccer as well within the realms of the documentary.
Well done Bell, deeply grateful and obliged…