MPAA Rating: Documentary
Director: Jeremie Battaglia
Starring: Meng Chen, Claudia Holzner, Marie-Lou Morin
Runtime: 77 minutes
What It Is: Director Jeremie Battaglia follows the National Canadian Synchronized Swim team on their road to qualify for the 2006 Olympics in Rio.
What We Think: True grace requires exceptional strength, as proven by the 2016 Canadian National Synchronized Swimming team. Grit and bruises are masked behind glitter and smiles as we watch the women fight hard to overcome a judging panel based mostly on politics. As the women repeat their set, practicing ever closer to synchronization, you can’t help but wonder if the mental and physical destruction is worth achieving a moment of perfection.
Our Grade: B, While the documentary was enlightening to a seemingly glitter based sport, I felt like there was more to be seen. The doc focused on solely two athletes of a very large team and gave little insight into the most interesting participant, Coach Meng Chen. Her drive and persistence prove that the sport is more cutting than the smiles and sparkles but she was regulated to surface information and badly translated interviews, which was unfortunate for the audience as she was speaking English. The documentary is still worth the watch if anything for the respect Synchronized Swimmers deserve as athletes, athletes where the only perfection wins gold.