Guess what today is? If you answered ‘the day after Canada Day’ you are WRONG. July 2nd marks the birth of legendary Canadian wrestler Brett ‘The Hitman’ Heart. For those of you unfamiliar with The Hit Man, he was the wrestler who wore pink and had a mullet with sunglasses. Maybe that doesn’t narrow it down. Apparently he was also known as ‘The Pink and Black Attack’, which sounds like the side effect of a few doses of Pepto Bismol. Either way, wrestling fan or not I suggest you check out ‘Hitman Heart: Wrestling With Shadows’, a powerful look at the career of an aging, disillusioned sports entertainer. This film predates Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler’ by 10 years (for those who hate math, it was released in 1998) and holds just as much drama and emotion. The two would make a great double bill. Here’s the official synopsis from the NFB website:
In this feature-length documentary, director Paul Jay was given unprecedented access to the world of Bret Hart and pro wrestling as his camera followed Bret “the Hitman” Hart for one year. Going behind the tightly guarded walls of wrestling’s spectacle and theatre, the film explores the meaning of today’s wrestling morality plays. As fantasy crosses into real life, the true story of Bret Hart’s struggle with Vince McMahon, the legendary owner of the WWF, is revealed. Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows climaxes with the tale of the biggest double-cross in pro wrestling.
Thanks once again to the National Film Board of Canada and their amazing website for offering this film up for free viewing in its entirety.