In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. Is it any wonder that so many of our athletes take performance-enhancing drugs? Director Christopher Bell explores America’s win-at-all-cost philosophy by examining the way his two brothers became members of the steroid subculture in an effort to realize their American dream.
Ingeniously beginning the film by harkening back to the mentality of the 1980s, where the heroes were Rambo, Conan, and Hulk Hogan, Bell recounts how these role models led him and his brothers into powerlifting and dreams of becoming all-star wrestlers. Those dreams were soon shattered by the realization that success in those fields required the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Bell uses his personal story as an entree into analyzing the bigger issues that surround these drugs: ethics in sports; the health ramifications, both physical and psychological; as well as the mentality that fuels it all.
Bigger, Stronger, Faster* combines crisp editing of hilarious archival footage with priceless family revelations, as well as interviews with congressmen, professional athletes, medical experts, and everyday gym rats. The power of the film is the way Bell stays away from preconceptions and stereotypes and digs deeper to find the truth and concoct a fascinating, humorous, and poignant profile of one of the side effects of being American.
Christopher Bell - Christopher Bell grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, where his relationship with both filmmaking and bodybuilding began in his teens. After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1995, Bell wrote, directed, and produced the anti-smoking short film Billy Jones, which screened at the AFI Film Fest, HBO Comedy Festival, and Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films and earned him a best director award at the New Orleans Film Festival. He has also won bench-pressing competitions, including the California State Powerlifting Championship. Bigger, Stronger, Faster* is his first documentary feature.
Sat. January 19, 8:30pm, Holiday Village Cinema II, Park City
Sun. January 20, 10:30pm, Broadway Centre Cinemas VI, SLC
Tue. January 22, 2:30pm, Library Center Theatre, Park City
Wed. January 23, 12:15pm, Holiday Village Cinema III, Park City
Fri. January 25, 11:45pm, Holiday Village Cinema III, Park City
P.O. Box 628
Venice, CA 90294