May 30 2008

Bigger, Stronger, Faster: The Side Effects of Being American

| the entire program

GUESTS: Chris Bell, Writer and Director of Bigger, Stronger, Faster, Alex Buono and Tamsin Rawady, writers and producers

Much has been made in recent years about the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs by American athletes. Revelations of baseball stars Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds using steroids raised the profile of such drug use so high that the US Congress held days of hearings on the issue. But what most professional athletes who admit using them say, is that every one does it: steroid use is more common than not. Now, a new documentary from the producers of Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 911, called Bigger, Stronger, Faster: The Side Effects of Being American, digs deep into the issue from the perspective of a former user who has sworn off steroids but whose brothers continue to use them. Christopher Bell and his two brothers grew up idolizing professional wrestlers and body builders like Hulk Hogan, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, all of whom used steroids to achieve their bulk and strength. Bigger, Stronger, Faster also reflects on steroid use as a metaphor for modern American life and the mentality that this country emphasizes winning at all costs whether in the arena of sports, business and war. What Chris Bell, who has written and directed the film asks, is “when you discover that your heroes have broken all the rules, do you follow the rules, or do you follow your heroes?” Ultimately he asks “are we a nation on steroids?”

Bigger, Stronger, Faster opens this week at the following theaters:

Pasadena, CA: Playhouse 7 Cinemas
Los Angeles, CA: The Landmark
Hollywood, CA: ArcLight Hollywood 15
Irvine, CA: University Town Center 6 Cinemas

For more information, visit

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