NATIONAL NEWS & VIDEO - After spending years in production, the latest instalment in ESPN’s Peabody and Emmy award-winning 30 for 30 series is here, The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius.
According to ESPN, the four-part documentary series will air weekly starting on Thursday 19 November at 8pm (CAT on ESPN, DStv channel 218) with repeats each Sunday at 8pm from 22 November.
The series will also be available on DStv Catch Up, as well as the ESPN Player App.
“Directed by BAFTA award-winner Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough, George Best: All By Himself) and produced by Academy Award-winner John Battsek (Searching for Sugarman, One Day in September), the documentary tells the story of the South African Paralympic sprinter and international hero who inspired millions with his determination and dedication – and who was then suddenly at the centre of a murder investigation. The circus that surrounded the tragic death of Reeva Steenkamp became just as much a story of the time as his initial rise to glory.”
Evert van der Veer, vice-president of Media Networks at The Walt Disney Company Africa called The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius “the culmination of an exceptional year of work from ESPN Films”.
“This latest entry in the iconic 30 for 30 library is another example of how ESPN continues to build on its legacy as the home of the best storytelling in sports, joining films such as LANCE, Be Water, Long Gone Summer and more, which we are thrilled to be bringing to audiences across the continent,” added van der Veer.
Viewers can expect to see interviews with more than a dozen of the figures closest to the story as the film recounts Pistorius’s fall from grace after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of 14 February 2013 at his home in Pretoria.
“According to Pistorius the event was a tragic accident, but his troubled past and questionable testimony cast doubt on his innocence,” said ESPN.
The story told in the film flashes back to the very beginning of the future Paralympic star’s life, chronicling his improbable ascent from a young boy who had both his undeveloped legs amputated as a toddler to an overnight teenage phenomenon at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.
Shattering records and convention, The Blade Runner, as he became known, went on a quest to compete against able-bodied athletes at the Olympics.
“His struggle against international track and field officials continued for years before Pistorius finally prevailed and competed at the London Olympics in 2012. Less than a year later, he was in a South African courtroom, accused of murdering his girlfriend,” added ESPN.
“The story of Oscar Pistorius is remarkable in its complexity. It’s at once inspirational and harrowing, and provides a lens of insight into a breadth of issues – from gender-based violence to disability rights, racial inequality and media frenzy,” said Gordon.
“My hope is that the film gives audiences additional context and layers to a story they think they know.”
Watch the trailer for The Life & Trials of Oscar Pistorius below.