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USA, 2013, 93 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Social Issues, Sports
Program: DocumentaryLanguage: English
DIRECTOR: Dave Carroll
Producer: Ryan ScafuroEditor: John HoytScreenwriter: Dave Carroll, Ryan ScafuroCinematographer: Ryan Scafuro
Director Dave Carroll devoted more than two years of his life to the strange yet fascinating world of strongman Chris “Wonder” Schoeck, a man who prefers a relationship with metal to one with another human being. Bending Steel follows this unlikely hero’s journey from a life of isolation to ultimate acceptance into a community of strongmen.
Painfully shy, Shoeck refers to himself as “an extraterrestrial.” But when he alters the molecular structure of steel, he’s “home.” He admires past strongmen such as Joe “The Mighty Atom” and Slim “The Hammer Man,” and aspires to re-create their legendary feats. If only he didn’t have to perform in public. Shoeck seeks out Chris “Hairculese” Rider on the Internet. Rider mentors him and sets up Schoeck’s public debut at a festival on Coney Island. Although Schoeck’s elderly parents don’t understand his obsession, film audiences do. They embrace Bending Steel and cheer on Schoeck’s transformation.
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