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TOP 10: INŠPIRATÍVNE FILMY A DOKUMENTY Z OBLASTI ŠPORTU A ZDRAVÉHO ŽIVOTNÉHO ŠTÝLU

TOP 10: Inspirational Films About Sports and Healthy Living

Have you ever felt guilty for wasting time watching a film or documentary that you heard a lot of praise about, but it didn’t impress you, or worse, you didn’t even watch it till the end? You are in the right place because we have spent tens of hours watching films to create a list of 10 inspirational films and documentaries about sports and a healthy lifestyle, which are definitely worth watching.

We focused mainly on the combination of stories of well-known athletes and film documentaries with significant social value. The documentaries and films on our list have triggered a bit of controversy in society, but we think it should be this way. It is a sign that we aren’t completely ignorant to the social topics they point out or to the fate of the athletes they show.

Stories of famous athletes on TV

10. H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters

(Hope for All: Unsere Nahrung – Unsere Hoffnung)

We have selected this Austrian film from a large number of documentaries about food and eating habits. It is clear from the title that it presents the issue of human nutrition. There are many controversies in our society about food as such and the (in)sustainability of the current system of consumption. The authors strive to point out the problem of obesity and overweight since today about a quarter of the population suffers from these problems, and they are also the reason of many health problems. The film also emphasizes the need to protect our ecosystem, which, according to it, is not only about protecting the fauna and flora, but also us humans. The authors ask themselves a simple question: “If we know that plant-based diets are much more sustainable, why don’t we follow them?”

The film documentary H.O.P.E brings testimonies from several people who talk about the health and environmental consequences of consuming excessive amounts of animal-derived products. It also contains authentic scenes from slaughterhouses and wholesales and interviews with employees in this industry. Thanks to the film production, but also a clear and factual way of argumentation, we consider it one of the most valuable films on the issue of contemporary eating habits. It will make you think for a moment about whether it is alright for up to 65 billion cattle to die in slaughterhouses each year, while meat consumption multiplied almost four times in half a century. Since this topic is nothing new in our society, it is possible that the taboo about the reduction of animal food sources will have to be revealed even more.

Why should you watch it?

Despite its length (105 minutes), Hope for All: Unsere Nahrung – Unsere Hoffnung has dynamics, and you will learn a lot of interesting information.

Consumption of animal products is increasing regularly

9. The Program

In his time, he was the most respected athlete and the greatest sports celebrity. At the turn of the millennium, he won the most prestigious cycling race in the world seven times in a row – Tour de France, which no one else has managed to do so far. This is despite the fact that a few years before that, he overcame testicular cancer, and doctors said that there is less than a 50% chance of survival. When he announced his retirement from sports in 2011, he was considered a sports hero. That all changed a year later when a journalist David Walsh helped uncover the biggest scam in the world of sports.

The Program explores the most important moments of Lance Armstrong‘s career. From his beginnings in triathlon, through his heyday in cycling, to court trials connected with life imprisonment. Although there is nothing factually exceptional in the film that an expert on Armstrong’s career would not have known, it quite vividly reveals the most competitive nature of the Texas native, the background of doping fraud, and how the whole team around Armstrong has managed to disguise the operation of the “program” for years. A bonus is Ben Foster’s great performance.

Why should you watch it?

Up to now, Armstrong is a controversial sports figure who is admired by millions of people despite his scandal in the past. After watching The Program, you may understand why he did it all.

Lance Armstrong during the Tour de France

8. Athlete A

Gymnastics is a specific sport in which teenage girls compete at the top level. The documentary Athlete A was released this summer and points to scandalous practices in American women’s gymnastics, where local young representatives have been sexually harassed and raped for many years by a team doctor Larry Nassar. Even more shocking is the finding that for many years Nassar was covered by a system that put the fame and success of American sport above the protection of its representatives. The film is a series of testimonies of abused gymnasts, as well as an insight into how the abuse occurred.

Several of the abused girls even held Olympic medals. The credibility and greater emotionality of this document are also provided by footage from the court trial in which Nassar was convicted by dozens of women. However, in addition to the moral imperative, this documentary also raises the question of how it is possible that similar practices took place for many years without the knowledge of the parents. The topic of sexual harassment has resonated significantly in society in recent years, and we believe that this film will also appeal to people who are not really interested in gymnastics.

Why should you watch it?

When watching Athlete A, mainly parents should pay attention. The topic of sexual harassment, especially among adolescents, is more relevant today than ever before. You will also see the active work of investigative journalists who helped uncover this case.

Athlete A - a movie you should watch

7. Diego Maradona

November 25 this year was a black day for the world of sports. A huge football icon has passed away. He was worshipped by millions of fans all over the world, not only in Argentina, the country devoted to football. Diego Armando Maradona was truly loved especially in Naples – a port city in the south of Italy, where he spent his most beautiful football years and where you can find his life-size statue in the square. Although during his greatest glory, he had to walk through the square almost daily with numerous security guards.

The Diego Maradona film is, without unnecessary pathos, the story of one man with two faces. It depicts the life of Diego, one of the most talented footballers of all time, who made it from a poor favela in the city of Lanús to a world-class player. On the other hand, we also get to know the shady and averted side of his life full of drugs, alcohol, and lavish parties. The film also gives us an insight into the world of the Camorra mafia, with which Maradona maintained close connections. However, we believe that millions of people will adore him forever. Descansa en paz, Diego!

Why should you watch it?

It is admirable how, from a series of interviews and archive footage in the Diego Maradona documentary, the authors managed to exhibit an intense and vivid story celebrating the life of a football player who scored two of the most famous goals in football history.

The football legend Diego Maradona

6. Awake: The Life of Yogananda

In the first half of the twentieth century, he came from poor India to the developed United States to spread enlightenment about yoga and meditation. The Indian philosopher and yogi Paramahansa Yogananda played a significant role in the spread of yoga not only to the United States but also to the whole world. Today, an estimated 300 million people worldwide use this physical and spiritual practice.

Even if you are not a fan of yoga and your morning rituals do not include repeated regular inhales and exhales, this documentary will impress you with authentic scenes and partly with controversy. Several famous faces appear there, such as George Harrison and Steve Jobs, who talk with a certain amount of passion about the impact of yoga on their lives. To fully understand this kind of lifestyle, we recommend watching Awake: The Life of Yogananda without any breaks.

Why should you watch it?

The documentary Awake: The Life of Yogananda will broaden your horizons about the origin and nature of yoga. It does not try to only glorify Yogananda, it also points out his shady aspects and the “dark” period of his life.

The founder of yoga in the USA, Paramahansa Yogananda

5. The Last Dance

At first glance, the title may give you the impression that it is a romantic dance film full of sentiment in the style of Dirty Dancing. However, it is not a story of two people from diverse social groups, whose fate forces them to undergo several (even dance) tests, but rather a series of sports documentaries where they “dance”, but with a basketball in hand.

The Last Dance is a series of ten episodes that mainly reflect the life of Michael Jordan. For many, the best basketball player of all time talks about his life and career in the iconic team of the nineties – Chicago Bulls. The great contribution of this documentary is also the fact that it opens us a door to the privacy of his teammates, which allows us to better understand how the chemistry of the “dream team” worked. For spectators who are new in this field, The Last Dance can cause a dilemma because the spectator will absolutely identify with Jordan on a sports level, but it may not always be so on the human and friendly level.

Many scenes are more than twenty years old, but they do not lack quality. It should also be emphasized that the whole documentary has dynamics and is fast paced, to which the music and editing also contribute.

Why should you watch it?

After watching The Last Dance, you will have a fairly understand the idea of the famous era of Michael Jordan in the Chicago Bulls. It will also show you the reasons that led to his success and his approach to sports, which will certainly inspire you.

Michael Jordan in the Chicago Bulls jersey

4. The Game Changers

We have decided to recommend to you one more documentary on food and diet, but this time from a different perspective. The athletes themselves talk about how to live and achieve top sports results even without meat and eggs. In The Game Changers, we can boldly state that it changes part of the public discourse to some extent. If there is something that tends to raise discussion among athletes, it is definitely not only training but also a way of eating. And when Arnold Schwarzenegger himself says that meat for big and strong men is only marketing, you suddenly feel that something is not right.

In the documentary, you will see and hear the testimonies of several top athletes. Especially a wrestler in mixed martial arts, who compares top athletes to gladiators who, according to him, ate mainly vegetarian food. The document became popular thanks to the people who worked on it. We should mention director and producer James Cameron, actor Jackie Chan, and athletes Novak Djokovic and Lewis Hamilton.

Why should you watch it?

The Game Changers will leave you with several unanswered questions and will make you think at least about the way you eat.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Game Changers

3. Ronnie Coleman: The King

He reached the absolute maximum in his sport and never achieved fame. He has a pleasant charisma and has millions of bodybuilding fans around the world. But you will still have tears in your eyes after watching Ronnie Coleman: The King. The eight-times Mr. Olympia champion Ronnie Coleman confesses to the enormous pain in front of the camera for the first time, due to which he takes the highest possible dose of oxycodone,  an opiate painkiller.

Ronnie Coleman is considered by many to be not only the best but also the greatest bodybuilder of all time. His volume training is still the focus of millions of people because at a height of 180 cm he weighed up to about 140 kg, out of the competition even more, and he usually lifted 360 kg with squats. In the documentary, his doctor describes what unimaginable loads his body was regularly exposed to and why he had to undergo several back surgeries, along with a double hip replacement. His desire to reach the absolute peak will leave you with admiration and sympathy at the same time. The bonus of the documentary is that other famous names of world bodybuilding, such as Dorian Yates or Jay Cutler, also appear in it.

Why should you watch it?

The Ronnie Coleman: The King documentary is both an inspiration and a memento. It is a probe into the soul of a man who has motivated and will motivate future generations.

eight-time Mr. Olympia champion Ronnie Coleman

2. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

I guess this document could not even end in failure, which is why we placed it so high. David Attenborough is a charismatic presenter, screenwriter, and producer who has worked with the British public-service television – BBC for decades and has already made several documentaries about our planet. After the age of 90, he decided to release a film in which he evaluates and compares the state of our nature. It is his own account of what he has experienced in about six decades of his active work.

Thanks to the comparison and intertwining of period scenes a few decades ago with the present, but also with the engaging narration of the author, you will remain in silent amazement for less than an hour and a half. Attenborough will take you to places you either haven’t visited or won’t have the chance to visit anymore. He negatively evaluates the loss of some places on the planet, but at the same time offers a vision for the future, the unflattering state of which, according to him, can still be reversed. In other words, it will offer you an overview of what has been talked about in the world for years, even before the world met Greta Thunberg, for example.

Why should you watch it?

In David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, the spectacular beauties of nature are intertwined with unflattering images that will give you a disturbing look at the consequences of world globalization.

penguins in Antarctica

1. Pumping Iron

The original intention and ambition of this independent documentary was to portray the lives of bodybuilders. Eventually, it became an international sensation and cult of cinematography, which made the sport visible and famous and started Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rich career.

So, this Austrian-American actor and businessman appears on our list for the second time.

It is worth mentioning that Pumping Iron gained its iconicity mainly thanks to its natural approach, and due to the fact that it is not just pure storytelling and a partial biography of a successful man. The film also shows Arnold’s biggest competitors, such as Lou Ferrigno and Frank Zane. We see them not only as bodybuilders on stage but also as parents raising their children.

The end of the eighties was the “golden age” of bodybuilding. The above-mentioned fighters had a perfect symmetry of the figure, narrow hips, and waist, and also perfectly ripped body. Thanks to Pumping Iron, the bodybuilding at that time and the way of training are compared with the present.

The quality and impact of this sports documentary were also verified by time. Twenty-five years later, at the request of many fans, its partial sequel has been made – Raw Iron: The Making of Pumping Iron.

Why should you watch it?

Pumping Iron is the “Bible” for everyone who goes to the gym at least once in a while. And it can be a motivation for those who want to start.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron

And how about you? Inspire us and share your tips. What other similar films did you see, and liked so much that they inspired or motivated you, and thus made you stop and think for a while?

And if you liked our list of the TOP 10 films from the world of sports and a healthy lifestyle and you believe that other people could like it and get inspired, share the article among your friends.