No Heroes is a documentary on wheelchair basketball and its fluid relationship to disability. The movie records extensive snapshots from a 7 month period of the yearly “life cycle” of ASKA Marousi, a wheelchair basketball team from Athens, Greece.
The team agreed for a movie crew to follow all of its proceedings during the 2018-19 season, allowing its members to film (among others) training sessions, games and traveling procedures. The athletes and coach also gave frequent interviews during this time span, providing with deep insights on wheelchair basketball, on the experience of disability and on the institutional impediments to the growth of Paralympic sports in Greece.
ASKA Marousi consists of both men and women athletes, as well as athletes who migrated to Greece in recent years, thus presenting a culturally diverse mosaic, which in turn adds to the mixture of differences, stemming from the variety of kinetic disabilities. The basketball court serves as a space for these differences to be renegotiated to such an extent, that they are able to challenge popular significations of disability. No Heroes presents an effort to tangle with those particular concepts.
“My interest in wheelchair basketball came up when I watched the final phase of the Greek championship, in June 2018. Then, I approached some athletes as part of a report on the basketballguru.gr website, in which I am the chief editor.
Athletes agreed to help with a tribute to the sport, but at the same time they expressed their suspicion, both in terms of the continuity of the coverage on the part of the site, as well as in what had to do with the type of presentation of sport or disability in general.
“Don’t present us as heroes, we’re bored of that.”
Somehow, the idea of a documentary was born, which would follow and record the processes of a wheelchair basketball team, in order to explore and understand more fully the perspective of athletes. The agreement was made with the team ASKA Maroussi, which accepted our film crew for 7 months, from November 2018 to June 2019.
The ASKA Maroussi team consists of seven male athletes, three female athletes and one coach. Eight out of ten members have some degree of motor disability, which varies in group range (quadriplegia, paraplegia, amputation). In addition, one member comes from a war zone (Syria) and another has immigrated to Greece from a neighboring country (Albania) for work.
A diverse sports group is thus revealed, creating a compact mosaic of views and mental windows, through the assembly of different pieces.
The documentary ‘No Heroes’ is nothing more than an observational exercise on the interaction between athletes, bodies, technology and space.
To be honest, in the beginning I had no expectations other than exploration,something that did not change along the way. The only difference was that this exploration became fascinating, revealing perspectives and experiences that I had never imagined.
‘No Heroes’ is their record, carrying within it some hope, that the big screen will trigger thoughts out of observation.”
Director: George Vitsaropoulos
Research: George Vitsaropoulos
Artistic Counselor: Dimitris Anagnostou
Editor: Dimitris Anagnostou, Fragiskos Penidis
DOP: Fragiskos Penidis
Sound Design: Anastasios Katsaris
Music: Tuber, Les Skartoi
Producer: George Vitsaropoulos
Associate Producer: Lina Koliou
Production: FP Media House, Basketball Guru