Theatrical Release Date: 03 Nov 2005
Home Ent. Release Date: 26 Feb 2006
Running Time: 85 mins
Nominated for Best Documentary in this year's Oscars, 'Murderball' is a truly inspiring film that's also a roller-coaster ride of human drama, athletic excellence, and a heart-stopping competition that couldn't have been scripted any better. 'Murderball' features fierce rivalries, stopwatch suspense, dazzling athletic prowess, larger-than-life personalities, and triumph over daunting odds - like any great sports story. But 'Murderball', also known as quad rugby, is played by quadraplegics in armoured wheelchairs. 'Murberball' begins at the 2002 World Championship in Sweden. Top-ranked Team USA has dominated the sport for 10 years, and every national team would like to push them from their pedestal. The rivalry between USA and Canada, though, is especially personal. Canada's coach is Joe Soares, a former American all-star. When Joe (who is in his forties and is much older than most of the players) was cut from the 2000 USA team, he went north to coach, many say to exact revenge on his former teammates. “How does it feel to betray your country?” one USA player taunts him. When Canada wins by a point in the final seconds, the USA team is humbled and despondent. The bad blood between Team USA and Team Canada is personified by the intense rivalry between Joe and USA team spokesman Mark Zupan- 'Murderball' chief protagonists. Joe, unlike most of the other players, grew up with his disability as a result of childhood polio. The combative, competitive drive that makes Joe such an exceptional coach can turn inward at home. Himself the son of a driven and demanding father, Joe struggles to connect with his sensitive 12-year-old son Robert, even though Robert clearly longs for Joe's attention and approval. Mark Zupan is an equally domineering personality-macho tough, but also funny and philosophical. A good-looking star athlete before the freak accident that injured him, Zupan has worked his way through suicidal rage and physical devastation to become a focused competitor. His best friend, Chris Igoe, who drove the car that caused the accident, and who was physically unhurt, bears a load of guilt. The hard work and training culminate at the Paralympics in Athens. Zupan's old friend Chris, who drove the car that caused Zupan's accident and has shied away ever since, will be there to watch him play for the first time. Friends and family of all the players gather in Greece to see whether Team USA takes the gold, cedes their dominance in the sport to Canada, or loses to yet another team. Whatever happens, these men have taken the game of “Murderball” -and themselves-as far as they can go, and beyond.