'Team Spirit' movie review: this French sports film reminds you of the importance of humility

'Team Spirit' movie review: this French sports film reminds you of the importance of humility

Set during the Sydney 2000 Olympics, 'Chacun Pour Tous' shows how prejudices against the disabled can be overcome


Photo: Intercontinental Film Distributors (H.K.) Limited

Based on the true events of a scandalous sports fraud, Team Spirit (called Chacun Pour Tous in French) follows a French basketball coach who forms a fake Paralympic team by recruiting several non-disabled men and entering them in the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games.

When people from his original team leave, the coach, Martin (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), decides he will stop at nothing to hang on to the funding given to him by the International Paralympic Committee.

He recruits seven unemployed men to play alongside two players who do actually have developmental disorders, Yohan (Clément Langlais) and Freddie (Vincent Chalambert).

Martin trains the seven other team members to appear as if they have learning disabilities, and the team fly to Australia to compete in the international event.

Although the fakers manage to blend in with the Paralympians they are playing against, it’s clear they see themselves as superior to Yohan and Freddie and the rest of the disabled community. 

However, as the film progresses, the seven frauds begin to bond with their two legitimate Paralympian team members, and are forced to reflect on how they saw those in that community.

Team Spirit might be based on real events that happened nearly 20 years ago, but what the film does especially well is highlight a very real problem that still occurs even today. It shows viewers how prejudices against the mentally-challenged, and other disabled people, can be overcome.

Edited by Nicole Moraleda 

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The Upside addresses disability and second chances with warmth, wit, and a strong moral lesson 

Okko’s Inn is an endearing Japanese animated tale of playful spirits from Studio Ghibli veteran Kitaro Kosaka

Disney’s live-action Dumbo is a visual treat, but the cast is underwhelming 

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
All it takes is a bit of team spirit


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