Being Evel

Documentary Films

SIFF Says:

"Evel Knievel is the most famous daredevil in history, the top sports star of the ’70s, and an inspiration to a generation of children. But the same outsized ego that made him the ultimate showman also led to a mess of contradictions: he was hero and an outlaw, a groundbreaker and a huckster, a saint and a cad. Propulsive and rambunctious, Being Evel jumps head-on into the larger-than-life story of Robert ""Evel"" Knievel, a rebellious youth from Butte, Montana, who captured the world's imagination with his one man franchise of daring-dos and crash-landing-don'ts. In 1967, Knievel made headlines for his bone-shattering motorcycle spill while attempting to jump the fountains at Caesars Palace, launching a decade-long career as, to quote Johnny Carson, ""the only man in history who has become very wealthy by trying to kill himself."" Narrated by Johnny Knoxville, Being Evel follows Knievel's meteoric rise with unbelievable vintage film clips and candid interviews with family and friends, yet doesn't shy away from the very real human failings of the man inside the red, white, and blue jumpsuit—making this the first documentary to stare into the face of pure Evel."

Stranger Says:

See a man jump a motorcycle over a box of rattlesnakes! (Well, mostly, anyway.) Although produced by the Jackass gang, this is far from a hagiography, refusing to sugarcoat Knievel’s ever-widening mean streak. (The stories surrounding the Snake River fiasco are shuddery and wild.) Very entertaining, and occasionally sublimely ridiculous. WARNING: some of the wardrobe displayed may cause hysterical blindness. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

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Film Credits
Daniel Junge
SIFF 2015