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Best of Boston 2009

Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

Steroids and a culture of competition
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  June 4, 2008
Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Christopher Bell’s entry point into this balanced, big-hearted look into steroid use is personal. He and his two brothers grew up chubby in Poughkeepsie, idolizing Arnold, Rocky, and Hulk Hogan; they traded video games for a bench press and started to bulk up (and up and up), all three reaching national powerlifting levels. The two brothers turned to steroids; the director did not. From here, Bell looks at the culture of competition in the US and the myths and contradictions of performance-enhancing drugs. The film, both informative and poignant, is peopled with a cross-section of users, experts, politicians, pro athletes, and gym rats with melon-sized biceps. Bell raises an important question — and doesn’t try to answer it. US fighter pilots take “Go Pills” (amphetamines), ambitious high-schoolers pop Adderall, musicians take beta-blockers to curb stage fright. All of it enhances performance; all of it is sanctioned. So why the stigma regarding athletes and steroids? It’s got something to do with the growing discrepancy in this country between doing right and being the best. 105 minutes | Kendall Square + Coolidge Corner
Related: Prodigy, Big Daddy’s, Wolf love, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Drugs in Sports, Exercise and Fitness, Health and Fitness,  More more >
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