Directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui – former BAFTA nominees for McQueen – and executive produced by Richard Curtis (Love Actually) and Barbara Broccoli, this stunning docu-feature charts the history of the Paralympic games from their genesis to their place in global modern-day culture.
Celebrating some of the most incredible and inspiring Paralympians, Rising Phoenix recalls, to name but a few, the Italian fencer Bebe Vio, the Aussie swimmer Ellie Cole, the French runner Jean-Baptiste Alaize and UK gold medallist Jonnie Peacock. All are on hand to tell their compelling stories of triumph over adversity.
This lovingly made and deeply moving film highlights the sacrifices made by some of the best athletes of our lifetime. Footage from London 2012 is bound to trigger a certain twinge of nostalgia, but the film also carries a wider message about how disability is perceived in the world we live in.
In absence of the 2020 Paralympics, which has been postponed to next year due to COVID19, Rising Phoenix presents a timely opportunity to revisit some of the most memorable moments of this extraordinary event down the years.
This review was first published in the Daily Mirror on 28/08/20