Along with fighting to end systemic racism, Prince Harry has been involved with a Netflix documentary called “Rising Phoenix.” The film shows the lives of many international athletes around the world while sharing the extraordinary history of the Paralympics. According to Netflix, “elite athletes and insiders reflect on the Paralympic Games and examine how they impact a global understanding of disability, diversity, and excellence.” In the intro of the trailer, a woman can be heard saying “the phoenix can live and die and burn and live again.”
A mythical creature many of the athletes compare their lives too. The film was directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui and will be released on August 26th. Its release was scheduled to coincide with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo but the games were forced to cancel due to the current global pandemic.
The trailer for the film has powerful videos of paraplegic athletes, some quadruple amputees competing in sports like fencing, swimming, track and field, and archery. There is even a clip of competitors playing table tennis without any hands. According to one of the insiders, “we wanted to change the way that people saw people with a disability.” The Paralympic Games held its first event in 1960 in Rome, Italy. According to the Paralympics website, it featured 400 athletes from 23 countries. The games have been running ever since, but not without any road bumps. The trailer begins to describe the economic struggles the games faced in the past.
Harry made a cameo in the trailer and described how the games change not only the people‘s lives on the field but those watching them in the stands. He also exclaimed that he believed “‘there was nothing else in the world that can bring you back from the darkest places than sports.” Harry excelled at sports when he was younger and had a passion for rugby.
Harry has been working with the Phoenix Rising documentary from the beginning and started a similar project in 2014 when he created the Invictus Games. The games are an international multi-sport event and according to the website, uses “the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.” The nine sports are adapted and include wheelchair basketball, rugby, volleyball, swimming, and indoor rowing. A spokesperson for Prince Harry told Town and Country magazine “The Duke is proud to have been one of the people who contributed to this film.”
The Broadway stage production “Diana: A New Musical” about Harry’s mother Princess Diana will also be streamed on Netflix. The production was forced to shut down right before opening night due to COVID-19. Netflix has not released a premiere date but the Broadway show has been postponed to May 25, 2021.