Former rugby player Mathieu Bastareaud facing Olivier Dacourt in “Le Crépuscule des champions”. LITTLE DARWIN FILMS
CANAL+ – SUNDAY JULY 9 AT 9:05 P.M. – DOCUMENTARY
In My dark side, in 2018, six soccer stars, including Franck Ribéry, confided in ex-football international Olivier Dacourt about their intimate injuries; followed, in 2019, I am not a monkeyon racism in football, and Papa in 2021, on the difficulty of being “daughters and sons of” in sport.
For their fourth co-production, the duo Marc Sauvourel-Olivier Dacourt does not change a winning formula for approaching the retirement of athletes, this “little death” all the more delicate to approach since they have known success, adrenaline, and must consider it very early.
“Even prepared, [la retraite sportive] is a work of mourning”assures Laura Flessel, five-time Olympic fencing medalist, before returning to her career and her decision to participate, at 40 and after having a daughter, in the London Games in 2012 – but she is only one. referring to his time at the Ministry of Sports in 2017-2018.
“Yes, retirement scares me”, responds, cash, swimmer Florent Manaudou, triple Olympic medalist in 50 meters. But he also remembers the precise moment when, at 26, he no longer wanted to swim; of his need to practice a collective sport – “I was dumb” –; of his return to the basin for “see the fear in the eyes of other competitors”.
The pattern is different for tennis player Gilles Simon, whom the cameras follow throughout the last day of his last professional match at Roland-Garros. What made him decide to stop? Among other things, the desire to stop suffering. This is one of the revelations of this sensitive and moving film: pain.
Pain, rugby player Mathieu Bastareaud knows, as evidenced by the footage shot during his rehabilitation, after he had both knees operated on at the end of November 2021 following a shock during a match against Toulon. Of a happy and joking nature, his motivation, his questions, he approaches them with a smile; like his return to RC Toulon, with some adjustments: “Before, we played at 9 p.m., and at midnight I was in a club. Now, it’s only occasional! »
“My body tells me ‘stop’, but I don’t feel like it! », launches Djibril Cissé, former striker of AJ Auxerre, 96 goals in Ligue 1 and 41 selections with the Blues. He gets carried away, and the viewer with him, seeing his first scissor at PSG; but he minimizes the chilling sequence showing him on the ground, his leg square, on October 30, 2004, the victim of a double tibia-fibula fracture – he came close to amputation…
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The eyes that shine at the evocation of their best memories, and the tears that flow. Bronze medalist in mogul skiing at the 2006 Olympic Games, freestyler Sandra Laoura lost the use of her legs after an accident on January 5, 2007 in Canada. At 26, the young woman found herself in a wheelchair. His story, moving, goes beyond the theme of the retirement of athletes. A “little death”? She then thinks of death quite simply.
Sandra Laoura will be at the 2024 Olympics… where Florent Manaudou has set himself an ultimate goal. And AJ Auxerre has just announced, on July 3, the arrival of Djibril Cissé in its technical staff. Even if the end of the documentary would have deserved to be refined, Olivier Dacourt confirms his successful conversion into Mireille Dumas of sportsmen.
Twilight of Champions, by Olivier Dacourt and Marc Sauvourel (Fr., 2022, 78 min).