The Champions, a film by Darcy Dennett
This film strips away stereotypes and breaks down barriers. This film makes you feel something. I am finding it hard to put in to words how incredible it was to follow along as we watch 5 of over the 50 pit bulls that were at one time part of Michael Vick’s dog-fighting ring, come to life. We also get to see another pit bull rescue, Slater, remain in a loving and healthy environment despite his battle with breed discrimination.
As much as I want to stand on my soap box and preach about how terrible it is what Michael Vick has done and how I don’t feel he could ever possibly redeem himself, I want to focus on the hope that these dogs and their caregivers share throughout the course of the film. A hope, that in this crazy world, we could all use a little bit more of.
Filmmaker Dennett and her team told not only an amazing story about these heroic dogs and the unconditional love they were given by rescue organizations across the country as well as individuals who fostered and ultimately adopted them, but she captivated me with beautiful cinematography and meaningful and poetic score. The film was visually stimulating as well as a wonderful web of stories.
I would recommend this film to anyone who not only loves animals, but loves a story about an underdog, no pun intended. These dogs, against all odds were brought back to life. They were given a second chance. I think this film has the power to change the way the world sees pit bulls. The Champions is a story of resilience; Cherry, Slater, Little Red, Handsome Dan, Mel, and Johnny, overcome what could have been the end and found peace, love, life, and happiness.