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Monday, April 18, 2016

TEAM FOXCATCHER

A Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Selection

By D.E.Levine

This Netflix original documentary examines the 1996 murder of  reknowned wrestling champion Dave Schultz, at the hands of  his benefactor John Du Pont.

While living and training on the Foxcatcher Farm, a  2000-acre farm in Newton Square, Pennsylvania, Dave's wife and other wrestlers shot extensive home movies.,

The focus of the film is on Dave, a warm, outgoing wrestling superstar who attracted other wrestlers and trainers with his outgoing personality and outstanding work ethic and performance.

Notably absent from the film and its commentary is Davve's brother Mark who also lived and trained on the farm.  No explanation for his absence is given.

Du Pont, an heir to the Du Pont fortune, was a lonely, socially inept man who longed to be accepted and embraced by the world class atheletes that he supported.  He spent a fortune supporting their training and lifestyle, turning the Foxcathcer Farm into a world class training facility,

The atheletes and their families lived in houses on the farm, in close proximity to the main house where Du Pont resided.  From all reports, Schultz was a faovrite of Du Pont's and good naturedly coached him for wrestling events that he was physically ill-prepared in which to participate.

However, as the atheletes formed a tight-knit community, Du Pont's jealousy over Schultz's friendship with other atheletes who fell out of favor with Du Pont,  grew and eventually led to Schultz's murder.

Du Pont had a sense of self-entitlement and believed that his wealth gave him the right to break the law and do whatever he wanted, especially since he had a close relationship with the police force.

As he became more and more paranoid committed murder and was convicted and imprisoned, many wrestlers chose to remain on the farm and pursue their goals of winning tournaments and achieving greatness in the sport, burying their conscience and better judgment.