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Last week, Twenty-two Twenty-eight covered the Netflix hit documentary series Losers, which covered different stories of athletes who lost, whether that’s a pivotal game or has never been able to break through to first place, and how they were able to grow and change due to losing (You can check our post on it out here). There are times in life where losing can lead us to a different kind of fortune, even if it wasn’t part of our original plans. Before Losers, the director was making other sports graphics and documentaries, including the moving mini-documentary, The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere.
Before making the documentary series, director Mickey Duzyj had already made a couple other sports documentaries, including The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere. It is a mini-documentary originally made for ESPN’s 30 for 30, a TV series of mini-documentaries that highlighted sports happenings between 1979 and 2009 for ESPN’s 30th anniversary. The series covered a wide range of topics and directors, covering subjects such as sports rivalries, athlete profiles, and the challenges athletes face when trying to manage their money. One of these stories was The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere.
The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere tells the story of Hara Urara (which means Glorious Spring in Japanese, the famous Japanese racehorse who had gone her whole career without winning a single race. I won’t get into all the specifics of the story, as it is best experienced through watching the film (which will be shown down below). If you have seen Losers already and are left wanting more of Duzyj’s style, then this is a perfect companion to the series. The documentary mixes Duzyj’s illustrations with new and old live-action footage, creating an extremely engaging story. If you have not seen Losers already, then this can also act as a perfect introduction to Duzyj’s documentary style and aesthetic and will allow you to figure out if this kind of documentary style is for you. Don't worry if you don't know anything about horse racing (I definitely don't); the documentary is made so that anyone can still get sucked into the story.
The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere is a must-see documentary. It’s only 18 minutes of your time, though it doesn’t feel like 18 minutes go by whenever I see it. For context, for writing this blog, I watched the mini-doc twice, and both times I got teary-eyed watching it. If you can carve out some time today to watch this movie, I promise that you won’t regret it. You can watch it now for free. The video below is the full movie.