THE LAST GLADIATORS

By Alex GIBNEY

KEW MEDIA DISTRIBUTION - as SALES All rights, World

Documentary - Completed 2011

Academy Award® winning director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God) takes an unprecedented look at the career and legacy of one of sport’s greatest legends, ice hockey star Chris “Knuckles” Nilan, in this poignant and inspirational film.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • USA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Duration
    • 91 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Alex GIBNEY
    • Producer(s)
    • Jim PODHORETZ, Larry WEITZMAN
    • Synopsis
    • Academy Award® winning director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God) takes an unprecedented look at the career and legacy of one of sport’s greatest legends, ice hockey star Chris “Knuckles” Nilan, in this poignant and inspirational film.
      In ice hockey, no one is feared more than the enforcer. These players have one reason to be on the ice and one reason only – to protect their guys – no matter what the cost to themselves or others. For Chris Nilan, once the most tenacious enforcer in the National Hockey League, that meant a shattered body, addiction to drugs and harming the people closest to him. But in the process, this tough guy from Boston earned the adoration of hockey’s holy city Montreal, and everlasting glory by helping his team win the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup.
      With a knack for exploring flawed characters, Alex Gibney, who played hockey as a youth, comes to Nilan’s story with admiration for the game and its masters. Nilan recounts the ups and downs of his life with a mixture of joy and regret – from learning the laws of the street as an Irish kid in Massachusetts to the twenty-six surgeries resulting from his legendary fights on the ice. And when injury forced Nilan to retire in 1992, he faced a new battle: how do you stop being a gladiator and re-enter normal society?
      Featuring interviews with a generation of hockey’s most hard-bitten tough guys, wider questions are also raised about the bloodlust in our culture and how we treat our sporting warriors when the battle is finally over.
      Relatable to hockey fans and newcomers alike, this introspective film offers a unique and personal insight into what it means to go from carefree childhood games on icy ponds to enforcing the unspoken and sometimes brutal codes of professional hockey leagues.
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