The 6 Best Sports Documentaries Of 2019 (So Far)

10 July 2019
Documentaries
Asif Kapadia's Diego Maradona is a stunning tribute to the embattled football legend, but in a year replete with great sports docos, that's just the tip of the iceberg

Diego Maradona
Directed by the man who brought the world Senna, Diego was chosen as Asif Kapadia's next subject because he wanted to capture the struggle of someone who was still alive. He passed the test he set for himself, giving a raw look at Maradona's struggles with fame, addiction and crime while bringing unprecedented illumination to the glittering heights and legacy of the man many call the greatest footballer ever.

Sunderland 'Til I Die
Season Two of Sunderland 'Til I Die is apparently filming now, but you can watch the entirety of the first season on Netflix now. A 'love letter to a city on its knees', Sunderland... is not a show of triumphs.

It's a series, ultimately, that revolves around failure and the problem of failure in the context of professional sports, where it can have its widest-reaching consequences.

Available to stream on Netflix now.


Losers
Losers is, in my opinion, the perfect documentary to show to someone who doesn't really get sports documentaries. Focusing as much on quirk as it does the trials and tribulations of professional athletes, it's a heartening look at sport's more downtrodden figures — those who we all relate to in a much more human way.

Available to stream on Netflix now.


Formula 1: Drive to Survive
It's caused an unprecedented stir in the F1 paddock and struggles a little to capture the ebb and flow of a complete F1 season, but Drive to Survive is still more than worthy watching. By focusing on the melodramatic moments and human drama that runs throught the sport sporadically, it's captured more than a few non-F1 fans who now follow the sport with relish.

Available to stream on Netflix now.


Free Solo
Never before have we seen a film that drew more audible gasps, more uncomfortable seat shifting, and more sweaty palms from the collective audience than we have Free Solo, which tells the story of Alex Honnold's historic free climb of El Capitan.

It's an exhausting journey to undertake as a viewer, but the film's natural horror is perfectly balanced with the scope of the achievement you knew you were witnessing: one that should, and will, go down as one of the all-time greatest athletic feats. Go and watch it. It'll leave you breathless, but you won't be sorry. Just maybe take a chalk bag.


What's My Name: Muhammad Ali
Another entry in a long list of masterful sports documentaries courtesy of HBO, what's my name is perhaps the most exhilarating take on the career and legacy of Muhammad Ali yet. Choosing to steer clear of his private life for the most part, it's essential viewing for anyone who feels like they could do with a beginners course on what made The Greatest, well, the greatest.


Via GQ Australia