Azzedine Nouiri is an athlete who works hard on his training, preparing for the Rio Olympics two years in advance. Training is difficult enough for people with average physical abilities but Nouiri has limited use of his lower body.
Nouiri also adds coaching to his hectic schedule, showing tough love to these athletes. Not only does he have to maintain his gold-medalist skill. He also inadvertently creates a coaching network for athletes with different abilities. The brotherhood between them is a touching subplot for this documentary.
As a side note, documentary festivals expose audiences to overachievers but We Could Be Heroes is just generally inspiring. This is a new movie from Hind Bensari and she taps into something when she captures these athletes train.
Let’s move on to We Could Be Heroes‘ main plot. Nouiri and his athletes protest against the Moroccan government so they can get the income they deserve. Depicting these events have mixed results. I suppose re-enacting events is part of what happens in documentary film-making.
However, seeing the strings in the moments where they’re talking and planning their protests is still strange. There are also a lot of phone conversations in the film. Some of these conversations have Nouiri talking to his father, but Bensari doesn’t explain their relationship. This is one of the few moments when a little hand holding might have helped.
Some of these moments have their strengths. Bensari also shows Nouiri encouraging the newer athletes with words that are admittedly cheesy. However, they’re standing in front of one of the new stadiums that Morocco built for their athletes. The catch is that they don’t have access to these places, which makes training more difficult. These scenes are naturally humiliating and infuriating. As the film continues our sympathy for these athletes grow strong.
We Could Be Heroes premieres on May 2 at 5:30 at the Scotiabank Theatre. There’s an additional screening May 3 at 3PM at the Hart House Theatre. Last show is on May 6 at 8:45 PM at the Aga Khan Museum.