Oscar Pistorius was one of the biggest names in athletics. Famously known as the ‘Blade Runner' due to the unique prosthetics that he wore in competition. He was born with fibular hemimelia and his lower legs were amputated when he was eleven months old. His Mother passed away when he was fifteen but had instilled a strong mindset into her son that he could achieve anything. He was raised in South Africa and supported by his wealthy uncle Arnold Pistorius. This allowed him a privileged upbringing, attending Pretoria Boys School and later, the University of Pretoria.
It was clear that Oscar was a gifted sportsman who excelled in all sports regardless of his disability. He played rugby, water polo and even wrestling. But after a knee injury and during rehabilitation with his coach, Ampie Louw, the course of sporting history was changed forever. He could run, and run fast and special blades where made by Ossur in Iceland and the Blade Runner was born.
Oscar went onto to win gold medals at the Athens, Beijing and London Olympics. But more importantly, he won the right to compete against able-bodied athletes, winning silver medals in four separate international events. He won countless awards and even appeared in Time Magazine as one of the worlds most influential people. Then, in 2013, Oscar Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home.
Pistorius is the new documentary by Amazon Prime and has four episodes. It goes into great detail about his upbringing, with open interviews of family members and friends. Following the intense media coverage about Oscar Pistorius, we could be fooled into thinking we all know the story. But the detail that goes into this documentary is incredible. It is extremely well directed by Vaughan Sivell.
Yes, it does appear that it is heavily skewed in favour of the Pistorius family in the early episodes. But as it builds to the trial it lays out all of the evidence subjectively leaving the viewer to make up their own minds. Every single complex layer is peeled back. It exposes his weaknesses as well as the highs, the amazing successes that he achieved, the massive brand that came from this success and nothing is held back. But be warned – actual footage is shown from the shooting and graphic images are shown of the fatal injuries received by Reeva.
All in all, this is easily one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. It covers every possible angle in the case in a thought-provoking way. The first episode could stand on its own as a detailed look at Oscar's upbringing and his incredible achievements, but this is just the foundation for the powerful drama that follows.
If you were a fan of Pistorius for his sporting achievements you will love this production. But equally, if you were somewhat baffled by the mixed stories we received from the press during the murder trial you must watch Pistorius. This takes a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare and places the facts right in front of you in a balanced way – excellent viewing.