You may have seen 2014’s “Foxcatcher,” which stars Steve Carrell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum, but somehow the real story that inspired the film is even more unbelievable. This documentary from 2016 only focuses on the time period that stretches from 1989 to 1996, and provides a different point-of-view on the events; for one, Dave Schultz’s brother Mark (played by Tatum in the film) is never even mentioned.
The basics remain the same. Eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont, a wrestling fanatic, funds a team that lives and trains on his property, hoping to push the USA’s wrestling team to greater Olympic success. Dave Schultz’s family was just one of several who came to live on the grounds of the Foxcatcher Farm in the ’80s and ’90s and, as with many documentaries, there is an astonishing amount of footage of people just hanging out.
There are many odd details in the documentary that add even more bizarre twists to the story, such as the fact that the local police were given free rein to hunt on the farm or that, at one point, du Pont decided black was an unlucky color and dismissed all of the Black athletes from the team. In the end, “Team Foxcatcher” makes a great companion to the 2014 film because you realize that all movies, whether they’re fictional recreations of real events or documentaries, are edited versions of events, and leave so much out. No matter what, we are always seeing the subject through the filmmaker’s eyes.