The genre of sports documentary is a subcategory of documentaries on its own because of how vast it really is. In this article, we look at sports documentary films that can be hailed as modern masterpieces.
Note that this list isn’t in any way ranked or ordered.
1. Kicking And Screaming by Jean-Claude Bragard
Kicking and Screaming documents the growth of football, the most popular sport in the world, in England. From Sunday Leagues to the birth of the Premier League as we see today, this six-part documentary has it all. The humor in the documentary is charming, and it also features footage that was never before seen at the time. It even documents the world cup campaign of 1966 when England beat West Germany to win the world cup for the first and only time in the history of football.
2. No No: A Dockumentary by Jeff Radice
The no-hitter is said to be a move that only a pitcher who’s on top of their game can make and you only see it being executed in US Pro baseball very rarely. But Dock Ellis, a Pittsburgh Pirate player who was an alcoholic and drug addict, did the impossible in 1970 when he pitched the perfect “no no” while he was on LSD against the San Diego Padres. No No: A Dockumentary highlights the life story of an alcoholic drug addict baseball player who, after seeking treatment, helped others stay away from drugs and alcohol.
3. A Sunday In Hell by Jorgen Leth
There was a time when cycling wasn’t as popular as it is today and A Sunday In Hell became a thing of legend when it was first released since it was extremely hard to find the movie on VHS. The film documents the 1976 Paris-Roubaix, a race that many consider to be one of the hardest ever. As the technology wasn’t as advanced as today, there’s a certain grit that you feel was present in the cycling world in those days. The music also features a combination of synthesizers and symphonies, a style which would only be popular after at least 40 years.
4. Tyson by James Toback
Mike Tyson has been a dominant force in the world of boxing, and this documentary bares nothing when it comes to showcasing Iron Mike’s rise to prominence. The director, James Toback’s 20-year friendship with Tyson also counts as everything from the rape conviction to Don King is highlighted. The documentary also features archives and fight footages.