Hot Docs 2014: The Sheik (2014)
Khosrow Vaziri, better known as “The Iron Sheik” to World Wrestling Federation fans, achieved the American dream by portraying a foreign “heel” on the wrestling circuit. The Sheik is an almost boilerplate yet still fascinating look at the meteoric rise and tragic fall of The Sheik. But don’t worry – in true Behind the Music fashion, Vaziri finds a second chance and redemption in the world of, naturally, social media.
I’ll admit to being skeptical about investing time in watching a documentary about a character from the World Wrestling Federation. My skepticism was allayed before film even rolled, while overhearing the conversation between several men of a certain age. While I didn’t personally got through a WWF phase, it was clear that many (mostly boys?) did and the impact on the imagination remains potent lo these many years later. Add that to the inscrutably infectious personality of Vaziri himself and The Sheik ultimately charmed me.
On the other hand, The Sheik makes clear the price to be paid for participating in the heady WWF during its heyday. The physical toll was immense, and the psychological toll took the form of serious drug abuse and ruin, not just for Vaziri but also his WWF peers, many of whom make appearances here. Fortunately, Vaziri, not just a heel but also a family man, managed to claw his way out of that abyss and found new fame Tweeting at @the_ironsheik. So don’t be a jabroni – check out The Sheik.
Screening Times for The Sheik
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema Sat, Apr 26 9:15 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Sun, Apr 27 4:30 PM
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema Sat, May 3 6:30 PM
Watch The Sheik Trailer
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit hotdocs.ca.