Film Review: The Founders
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★★★☆☆ As someone who is as unathletic as they come, I wasn’t sure how closely I’d be able to relate to a documentary about golf. After an hour and a half of watching The Founders, I was hooked. Filled with one-on-one interviews, film clips and re-enactments, The Founders is nothing short of inspiring. This is about much more than a sport; it’s about a bond between women - even when they were competing with one another and about bravery and risk-taking. It tells the story of 13 women who, in 1950, founded the Ladies Professional Golf Association, shelling out their own money and time to get a shot at building a profession out of a passion. The film traces their lives in golf, starting with reenactments of some of the women’s childhood beginnings in the sport. The women's interactions and clear admiration for one another is truly inspiring. Despite their status as competitors, they managed to travel, live and of course golf together in the name of pioneering a new era for women in athletics. And, of course, it was a joy seeing the women break barriers and fight against sexism. In one scene, founder Louise Suggs recalls being harassed by golfer Sam Snead after she had managed to beat men in a competition. The elderly Suggs quips to the cameras the same message she said to Snead years before: “Sam, I don’t know what the hell you’re bitching about, because you weren’t even second”. It feels rather sad, as the film goes on, that these women got so little coverage in their time. Only four of the original founders were still alive at the time of filming—three today. The screen near the end pauses to reference Suggs’ 2015 death, a reminder of this mortality. Despite this, the filmmakers manage to make all 13 women seem like the integral parts this historic event, using old clips of those deceased and stories from those still living. Viewers of the film can expect to leave ready to accomplish something in life. It’s a tall order to fill - these women have truly paved the way.
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