News 26 Apr
Rising Phoenix is a must watch - and here’s why
By Jaden Movold
Rising Phoenix is not your ordinary sports documentary; it will challenge your thinking on Para sports and the Paralympic Games while celebrating Para athletes, Paralympians, and diverse disabilities.
Rising Phoenix is a gut-wrenching inspirational movie that captures the lives of many medal-winning Paralympians. The likes of Tatyana McFadden (wheelchair racing), Ryley Batt (wheelchair rugby), Bebe Vio (wheelchair fencing), Ellie Cole (Para swimming) and many more. All of whom have overcome obstacles and achieved what many people thought was impossible. The film demonstrates how Para athletes can be competitive, inspiring, and capable of achieving greatness.
As an athlete myself, with big goals to achieve on the international stage, it was encouraging to watch this movie and be inspired by the challenges they had to work through to compete at the highest level. Being able to relate to other athletes who have experienced similar struggles in Para sport while also understanding the journey to reach the Paralympic Games was fantastic to watch and learn from.
I would encourage anyone, disabled or not, to watch Rising Phoenix because it showcases the heartache and struggles Para athletes go through to reach the Paralympic Games. It shares the history of the Paralympic movement and the lack of funding for Para sports, which was evidenced in the documentary with some drama in the lead up to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. But it also celebrates the achievements of Para athletes and Paralympians throughout the movement and into the future.
Rising Phoenix doesn’t shy away from sharing the setbacks and struggles Para athletes and Paralympians have gone through while also emphasising their determination and ambition on the world stage. The documentary takes a holistic approach, detailing the realities of living with a disability and being able to navigate your way through an ableist world while being taken seriously as a competitive athlete.
If you want to be entertained and challenged in your thinking, watch Rising Phoenix. The cinematography, music, lighting, and transitional pieces between stories made the documentary enjoyable to watch. See how the movie defies ableist views and attitudes that the broader society has on Para sport and shows how anyone can achieve their dreams and goals with hard work, positivity, and a solid base of support around them.
All image credits: (Jaden Movold, 2022)