Oscar movie: facts or fiction

The American Lifetime channel film based on Oscar Pistorius has made headlines, but how accurate is its depiction of the South African Paralympian and Olympian sprinter? 

Asking a prosthetist to review a movie about an amputee who was involved in a deadly shooting incident is not likely to produce the most objective account. To look at an amputee with compassion and understanding comes as second nature to a prosthetist. So, I’ve noted my first thoughts without rewriting my opinion later.

According to the general South African public, the Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer movie is trash. According to the Pistorius and the Steenkamp families, it is atrocious. According to me … well…

Throughout the film, from the beginning to the end, Oscar is portrayed as being a very, very bad person 24 hours a day and maybe that’s not necessarily true.

I met Oscar once on an occasion where people with disabilities and disadvantaged people surrounded him. Among them was a child with multiple limb deformities. I could see in Oscar’s eyes that he understood this child, and what they were facing, with all his heart and soul.

The love was flowing freely towards this kid, and to all the other people with disabilities who surrounded him. It seemed that he felt at ease and could identify with them, without pretension. He was able to log into their very being with real sympathy and understanding.

Maybe the experience reminded him of his childhood – when he was three years old and in pyjamas. He had to walk a few metres  over a tiled floor to say good night to his dad. He regularly pretended to fall asleep on his father’s lap so that his dad could carry him to bed as it was just too painful for him to walk there on his little bare stumps.

I know this scenario is very far removed from what happened much later when, as an adult, Oscar dated a supermodel. But a person’s inner being is a collage of all the things one goes through during one’s lifetime – some good and, some bad. My view is, in fact, that the “24/7 evil” as portrayed in the movie does not paint an accurate picture of Oscar Pistorius.

 


Heinrich Grimsehl is a prosthetist in private practice and a member of the South African Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (SAOPA). email: info@hgprosthetics.co.za

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