While the lightly fictionalized Foxcatcher has already focused intently on the inner workings of a man driven toward the edges of sanity, Jon Greenhalgh’s documentary Team Foxcatcher — comprised of present-day interviews and creepily telling home video and audio recordings from the family of Dave Schultz — takes a deeper and more realistic look at the how and why behind du Pont's infamous murder.
An Olympic wrestler who trained at Foxcatcher, Schultz was by all accounts a charismatic, good person, described as a hippie by friends and family. Smart, too — he learned Russian to better understand the great wrestling coaches of the time. Schultz stood apart with a goofy zen charm, not just wrestling, but offering “effective solutions to whatever problem you had,” a wrestling friend states. Du Pont, initially a solution, became one of those problems.
The easygoing Schultz had a calming effect on the people who knew him, especially du Pont, who was prone to outbursts and the testing of boundaries. In multiple videos seen here, du Pont hangs on the periphery of a smiling, boisterous group of chiseled wrestlers and their families on the Foxcatcher estate. His face is almost always
And that’s something this doc hits on constantly: Schultz really felt like du Pont was a friend. He was also one of the few people who wouldn’t bullshit the benefactor. Wealth insulated du Pont from most intrusions of reality. He was so rich and so alone, it was almost inevitable he would fear being used, and this paranoia blossomed until he would hunt deer with a machine gun from the window of his car, fire every African-American man from the team because he had decided that black was bad luck and burn down a house on his own property to prove a point. He’d even drive his car into a pond twice in one week just to do it.
The crazier he acted, with nobody saying a word about it, the worse his delusions
You probably know what happens next — and if you don’t, it becomes obvious pretty quickly. But this documentary isn’t just about suspense; it’s about every person surrounding this story who could have stopped all of it and didn’t.
An air of guilt pervades every discussion of Schultz and du Pont in interviews with wrestlers from Team Foxcatcher. Dan Chaid, one of Schultz’s best friends at the farm, is one of the few who carries a different emotion: grief mixed with disbelief.
The fictionalized Foxcatcher film had an eagle-eyed focus on du Pont’s relationship with Schultz’s brother Mark. With that removed, Team Foxcatcher showcases the collective guilt and complicity of innocent people. As you watch one clip after another of du Pont firing a machine gun into the air or holding his fingers like a gun to fake-shoot Schultz, the cameraman, you can’t help but wonder what they all were thinking letting this