The Bodybuilder and I


Every June, 59-year-old Bill Friedman waxes his body, strips down the smallest bikini shorts ima­gin­able, slathers himself with bronzing spray and then struts his way across a stage where he flexes his impressive muscles and gyrates before a crowd of hundreds. Bill is a com­pet­itive body­builder, a former world champ in the age 50-60 category. And now he’s determ­ined to win his title back.

Documentary director Bryan Friedman is 26. Bill, Bryan’s dad, hasn’t been around since Bryan was a baby. Over the last two decades, the two have spent vir­tu­ally no time together. Bryan’s feelings are com­plic­ated, but mostly negative, with a deep dose of embar­rass­ment over Bill’s muscle-bound body and single-minded body­building obsession.

Now, Bryan is chron­ic­ling his dad’s attempt to make it back to the top. And somehow – between bench presses, tanning sessions, costume shopping and the occa­sional furtive cigar­ette – the two men are coming to know, and maybe even sort of under­stand, each other.

Told with humour and sens­it­ivity, The Bodybuilder and I is a feature doc­u­mentary about success, failure, shame and family. It is a journey into the strange sub­cul­ture of geri­atric body­builders and into the life of a man who is determ­ined to regain his status as champion. And it is the journey of an estranged son trying to discover who his father really is – in hopes that he can learn to love and respect him for the first time.

2007 / Canada / Colour / in English / 1.85 anamorphic presentation / Dolby Digital 2.0 / 86 minutes

Director: Bryan Friedman

"Hilarious and heartwarming" - Paul Matthews, Toronto Life

“The movie does what a good documentary should… totally surprising, and unique, The Bodybuilder and I is a thoroughly entertaining and insightful movie.” - Jesse Wente, CBC Metro Morning

"A journey that would make Freud smile." - NOW Toronto

"Funny, mischievous and tender film about getting to know his father." - Brian D. Johnson, Maclean's


  • 1.85 anamorphic presentation
  • Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack
  • Theatrical Trailer

Product Number: KNS 50144

UPC Number: 8-81751-50144-8