Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chelsea's Alex Gibney interviewed on NPR about his new documentary "Catching Hell", which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, and will be screening at upcoming Silverdocs & Chicago International Film Festivals

In Game 6 of 2003's National League Championship Series, a Chicago Cubs fan reached for glory ... and caught hell.   In his new film , Oscar-winning Director Alex Gibney records the fallout of a fateful flub.  Along with half a dozen other Cubs fans, Steve Bartman stuck his hands out for a fly ball hit by Florida Marlin Luis Castillo just as Cubs outfielder Moises Alou also went after it. But Alou didn't quite make it. Instead, the ball glanced off Bartman's hand and into the crowd.
          Bartman reaches to catch the ball that will change his life forever. 
Gibney tells NPR's Neal Conan that Bartman was immediately singled out after the incident. "The entire stadium focused their ire on him and almost tried to kill him," Gibney says. When he saw just how furious everyone got over someone doing the most innocent thing a fan could do, Gibney says he knew there was a story there.

Superstition plays such a huge role in sports that Bartman's name is now inextricably connected to the Cubs' loss. But Gibney says there's also something darker going on.  "Very often, we look to find scapegoats," he says. "Bartman was a perfect scapegoat."  That day changed Bartman's life forever. 

Click here to listen to the rest of the June 22 NPR interview.