Film Screening 30th March, 2016

Poster for Concussion


7:30 PM, 30th March, 2016

  • M
  • 123 mins
  • 2015
  • Peter Landesman
  • Peter Landesman
  • Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Luke Wilson

In this sports drama based on a true story, Will Smith plays Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who discovers an alarming occurrence of the brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in players of America’s National Football League (NFL) – with 87 former players found posthumously to have been suffering from CTE after premature deaths.

Omalu attempts to make the NFL aware of the disease and its direct link to concussions suffered by their players on the field, but his findings are downplayed and he is persecuted because of the potential legal and financial consequences facing the NFL. Not to mention the possibility of NFL fans losing interest in the sport after discovering the danger it poses to its players.

Concussion is directed and written by Peter Landesman who is best known for his 2014 effort Kill the Messenger, another film based on a true story of a protagonist fighting for the truth amidst cover ups and threats. This too is a powerful David versus Goliath story of one man battling a large corporation with near unlimited resources at its disposal.

The film does an excellent job of humanising Omalu and the plight of several former NFL players, such as Dave Duerson, the first ex-NFL player to have committed suicide as a result of suspected CTE-related long-term depression.

While the setting of this film may be the testosterone-driven world of American Football, the story carries a deeper message in its examination of corporate greed and plausible deniability in the multi-billion dollar world of professional sports as entertainment.

Robert Bourke