The close-knit men of Millennium Wrestling Federation of Lincolnton, North Carolina work hard to deliver the goods week after week: vivid costumes, elaborate backstories, gripping choreography, and high-octane simulated violence. Performing to small crowds of locals, some of these wrestlers still dream of getting discovered and making it big; others own the in-the-moment reality of performing on this small scale, living for the weekends when they get to be the kinds of heroes and villains they idolized in childhood.
Robert Greene’s riveting, insightful documentary follows this troupe of costumed dreamers over the course of a pivotal week. An injury threatens to make Millennium leader Jeff miss his first performance in a decade, while clean-cut, wide-eyed rookie Gabriel hungers to prove himself in a tight-knit brotherhood heavy on initiation rites and cutting humor.
Fake It So Real delivers an embedded observational eye that may remind some of documentary giants like Frederick Wiseman and The Maysles, while delivering all the grit, spit, sweat, dirt, and blood inherent to its subject. There’s also much humor here, especially in the sometimes bizarre stage personas some of the wrestlers have crafted for themselves, and the hazing banter lobbed at newcomer Gabriel by the older men. But this isn’t a film told looking down at its subjects, but rather looking up to their physical feats, artistic triumphs, and unending dreams. –Maryland Film Festival
Official Selection: True/False Film Fest, Sarasota Film Festival, Rooftop Films Summer Series, Maryland Film Festival
“A triumphant, ball-busting climax.” -Slant Magazine
“…filmmaker Robert Greene knows how to capture the wrestler’s humanity on screen.” – WQ Mag.
“Fake It So Real is a beautiful slice of small-town awesomeness.” -Baltimore City Paper
“…brilliantly captures a unique men-only world.” – Indiewire