2008 - United States - 105 minutes
Director - Chris Bell
Writers - Chris Bell and Alexander Buono
My Rating - 4 of 5 Stars
This documentary really enlightened me. I must admit that I pay little attention to all of the steroid panic press, but, of course, I am aware of the general flow of the media. Because of this, I always thought that taking steroids would turn an everyday jock into a raving brute. One of the results of seeing this documentary is that I find that that conception is totally wrong.
Chris Bell is the middle child in a family of three boys who became overwhelmed with their body images. Chris relates that he and his brothers were never that popular in school, and how he, especially, became enthralled with the image presented by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his famous breakout film, Pumping Iron.
The boys were also captivated with professional wrestling - a career the older brother chose to follow.
Through all of this, Chris maintained that taking steroids was wrong and that a true body builder should develop without their help. He shows how he first becomes disenchanted when he found that his heroes, as well as his brothers, regularly use or used steroids. This disenchantment slowly evolved into knowledge developed through research that, in general, steroids are presented as the big, bad wolf when they actually are not.
A large part of the film is an informative look at the false bad press given to steroids perpetuated by the news media and Congress. According to Chris’s research, the publicized bad side effects of the drugs are way overblown and pretty much false.
The other side of this fascinating documentary is an honest and insightful look at three brothers who are so committed to perceived body images that they make many bad choices in order to promote those images. All three of these men seem to be trapped in this mire - Chris being the one least affected.
All people have perceived images of themselves and those perceptions guide their behaviors, whether they be good or bad. Bigger Stronger Faster* gives an insightful and intriguing look at three men who need to be bigger and stronger.