|Festivals/Awards||Best Canadian Feature Documentary - Hot Docs Festival 2007|
In theatres on November 2, 2007
DVD/Blu-ray available on May 11, 2010
Every June, 59-year-old Bill Friedman waxes his body, strips down the smallest bikini shorts imaginable, slathers himself with bronzing spray and then struts his way across a stage where he flexes his impressive muscles and gyrates before a crowd of hundreds. Bill is a competitive bodybuilder - a former world champ in the age 50-60 category. And now he's determined to win his title back.
Documentary director Bryan Friedman is 26. Bill - Bryan's dad - hasn't been around since Bryan was a baby. Over the last two decades, the two have spent virtually no time together. Bryan's feelings are complicated - but mostly negative, with a deep dose of embarrassment over Bill's muscle-bound body and single-minded bodybuilding obsession. Now, Bryan is chronicling his dad's attempt to make it back to the top. And somehow - between bench presses, tanning sessions, costume shopping and the occasional furtive cigarette - the two men are coming to know, and maybe even sort of understand, each other.
Told with humour and sensitivity, The Bodybuilder and I is a feature documentary about success, failure, shame and family. It is a journey into the strange subculture of geriatric bodybuilders and into the life of a man who is determined to regain his status as champion. And it is the journey of an estranged son trying to discover who his father really is - in hopes that he can learn to love and respect him for the first time.
Best Canadian Feature Documentary - Hot Docs Festival 2007
“'The Bodybuilder and I' Review” - Georgia Straight
“'The Bodybuilder and I' Review” - Variety
“'Bodybuilder' shows dumbbell dad ” - Sun Media
“Family flexing” - NOW Magazine
“Agit Pop” - Toronto LIfe