Since conspiracy and controversy in regards to Russia hasn’t dominated the airwaves enough, a new Netflix-distributed documentary, Icarus, takes a different angle. Focusing on the journey of director Bryan Fogel as he tries to uncover an Olympic doping scandal, the documentary looks to try and blend classical documentary form with a slight genre twist. Complete with a hefty list of praising quotes, Icarus could impact a wide audience of sports lovers and cinephiles alike, and the first trailer has now arrived.

“Hand-drawn animation, zippy computer graphics and an intense string-driven score make for a batch of styles, while lacking a key sense of personality in the process,” our friend Nick Allen says at RogerEbert.com. “The movie is less the announcement of an exciting new director, but a competently made thriller with a gripping assembly of events. As I am sure it will when the film stuns viewers beyond those at Sundance, “Icarus” relies on the element of surprise for one of its most rewarding attributes.”

See the trailer below, along with a poster and synopsis.

In the audacious documentary Icarus, director Bryan Fogel’s bold gambit was this: to investigate doping in sports, Fogel (an amateur bike racer) would dope himself, observe the changes in his performance, and see if he could evade detection. In doing so, he was connected to a renegade Russian scientist, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a pillar of his country’s “anti-doping” program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program.

When the truth is more complex than imagined, and accusations of illegalities run to Russia’s highest chains of command, the two realize they hold the power to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory. Exemplifying the special bond between filmmaker and subject, this is a vital portrait of the sacrifice some people will make to stand up for truth. Icarus places you at the heart of an international game of cat and mouse, where a miscalculation can cost you your life.


Icarus hits Netflix on August 4th.

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