5_On Falling - Still 4_Andréane Lanthier Nadeau_photo by Claire Sanford.jpg
DOCUMENTARY

On Falling: MTB doc shines light on Canadian women

Words Pete Roggeman
Photos Claire Sanford
Video Josephine Anderson
Date Jul 16, 2020
Reading time

If you're tired of the all-too-familiar style of the typical MTB biopic, Josephine Anderson's On Falling is a refreshing antidote. Today marks the online release of the film, in conjunction with The New Yorker Documentary*, a notable high water mark for our sport, but especially for the three already accomplished athletes - all women - featured in the film.

*World Premiere was at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival

On Falling features EWS stars Andréane Lanthier Nadeau (ALN) and Miranda Miller, plus pro rider and Olympic ski cross silver medallist Brittany Phelan. We are given an intimate, almost dreamy gateway into the three athletes' lives and thoughts on risk and their relationship with it, as well as what can go wrong when everything changes in the blink of an eye. Its contemplative tone treats the athletes and their thoughts with reverence and respect. Anderson, a Vancouver resident, has done a masterful job with her film, and the team she assembled to deliver her vision was almost entirely composed of women (readers will recognize the name Scott Secco, who handled camera operating duties, but the DoP was Claire Sanford).

Let's take a moment to appreciate all of this. An up and coming female filmmaker from Vancouver decided to shine a light on the perplexing relationship that elite mountain bikers have with risk and crashing. She had no shortage of female subjects to choose from - as any rider in the Sea-to-Sky knows - but Miller (2017 World DH Champion), Lanthier Nadeau (3rd overall in the Enduro World Series in 2019), and Phelan (2018 Olympic ski-cross silver medallist and pro mountain bike racer in her 'off-season') represent as elite a set of subjects as you could hope to find.

In a time when we need and want more representation of female riders and creators, in a sport that desperately needs it, On Falling delivers in grand fashion.

3_On Falling_Still 2_Brittany Phelan (left) and Amy Ertel (right)_photo by Claire Sanford.jpg

Brittany Phelan (left) tackles a section while Amy Ertel looks on.

6_On Falling - Still 5_Miranda Miller_photo by Claire Sanford.jpg

Miranda Miller's relationship with injuries will be well known to fans of DH racing. On Falling also digs into the mental side of risk, fear, and injury.

902_On Falling_Meadow of the Grizzlies Trail Pic_left to right Producer Joella Cabalu, Subject Andreane Lanthier Nadeau, Subject Miranda Miller, Director Josephine Anderson.jpeg

L to R: Producer Joella Cabalu, Andréanne Lanthier Nadeau, Miranda Miller, and Director & Editor Josephine Anderson

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Comments

rugbyred
+4 Pete Roggeman Tjaard Breeuwer Merwinn Beau Miller
Eric Van Sickle  - July 15, 2020, 6:06 p.m.

Those riders are some serious tough humans and rippers.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 Merwinn Beau Miller
Pete Roggeman  - July 15, 2020, 6:34 p.m.

Ain't that the truth. If you haven't seen it, find the video from a few years ago of Rachel Atherton dislocating her shoulder - I think during practice at Fort William. She puts it back in herself. On camera. 

Bad ass.

Reply

meloroast
+1 Beau Miller
meloroast  - July 16, 2020, 8:31 a.m.

Any chance you have the link or name???

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 meloroast Beau Miller
Pete Roggeman  - July 17, 2020, 7:40 a.m.

Reply

meloroast
+2 Pete Roggeman Beau Miller
meloroast  - July 18, 2020, 6:42 a.m.

Holy jeezus

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Beau Miller
Pete Roggeman  - July 18, 2020, 8:51 a.m.

My thoughts exactly

DaveSmith
+2 Pete Roggeman meloroast
Dave Smith  - July 15, 2020, 7:52 p.m.

Best outdoor film this year.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Beau Miller
Pete Roggeman  - July 16, 2020, 7:03 a.m.

Right? I was blown away by the meditative feeling of it but somehow it was able to feel like that without also minimizing the severity of the subject matter.

Reply

prairiedirt
+3 Pete Roggeman Merwinn Beau Miller
prairiedirt  - July 15, 2020, 9:17 p.m.

The sound Ms. Miller makes after that crash made the hair stand up on every body part with hair.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 mrbrett JVP
Pete Roggeman  - July 16, 2020, 7:02 a.m.

Me too. Have you had a riding buddy crash and knock themselves out in front of you? There's often an accompanying sound like that and it's really hard to witness especially when it comes with someone being out cold.

Reply

rugbyred
+1 Beau Miller
Eric Van Sickle  - July 18, 2020, 11:09 a.m.

Not riding but while I was coaching rugby. The poor kid went into convulsions. Wasn’t pretty.

Reply

meloroast
0
meloroast  - July 16, 2020, 8:32 a.m.

OMG yes. I made myself watch it again even though i didn't want to. Very primal. Reminds you we are just animals

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