Canadian Sport Film Festival 2017: Our Review Of ‘Crossing The Line’

Canadian Sport Film Festival 2017: Our Review Of ‘Crossing The Line’

There was a time that the world of sports was dominated by track and field athletes.  The likes of Carl Lewis and Jackie Joyner-Kersee were household names and heroes to legions of fans.  One of those athletes was Danny Harris, an American hurdler who reached the peak of his sport but saw his life fall apart in the face of his life’s greatest obstacle: his addiction to crack cocaine.  Crossing the Line, a documentary from director David Tryhorn, tells the tale of Harris’ rise and fall.

At the height of his career Danny Harris was an Olympic silver medalist and gained international fame after beating Edwin Moses, thereby breaking Moses’ streak of 122 competitive wins in the 400 metre hurdle.  Inwardly however Harris was battling demons.  An orphan at the age of 13 he focused hard on his sport and did not develop the coping strategies to deal with his real world troubles.  After being offered crack at a party he found himself hooked and soon was spiraling out of control and at risk of losing his career.

The film is a fascinating account of one man’s struggle and success but also provides insight from various athletes about addiction in sports and the blind eye that the sports world turns towards those with drug problems.  Instead of offering them assistance and support, associations and competition groups penalize those that fail drug tests, even when the drugs detract instead of enhance their performance.

It is a beautifully shot film, with poignant and thought provoking interviews with Harris, Moses and others, that serves as a reminder of a time in sports ruled by the gods of the track and a lesson that while athletes may seem invincible they are, in fact, all too human.

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Galadriel fell in love with the movies when she was taken to see Superman at the age of three. Legend has it she watched the whole thing standing up with her jaw on the floor. She went on to see Superman four more times in the theatre and developed a lifelong passion for film. Galadriel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto which she parlayed into a ten year stint at Blockbuster Video and more recently a career in nursing. But some things never change – she still loves movies and counts Gone with the Wind, Amadeus, The Shawshank Redemption, La Dolce Vita and the films of Michelangelo Antonioni among her favourites. She is also obsessed with the Oscars and knows more about them than any one person should. Galadriel currently lives in Toronto with her husband and young daughter who is soon to see her very first movie in the theatre.