Staff Pick: ‘I, Tonya’

I, Tonya

Staff Pick: I, Tonya

I took out the movie I, Tonya (2017) from the Greenwich Library DVD collection on the second floor. It’s sort of a “fictional documentary”, since some of the plot has been embellished and/or filled in. It’s also a second person narrative, meaning the viewer is addressed directly.
As you may recall, Tonya Harding was one of our top skaters and won a medal at the 1991 Olympics. She had a very rough childhood. Her father left the family when she was very young. Her mother was very abusive – physically and verbally. She enrolled Tonya in skating lessons when she was only 4-years-old. Later, Tonya dropped out of high school to concentrate on her skating. The boy who met her and eventually married her (Jeff Gilloly), also became verbally and physically abusive.
Then came the Nancy Kerrigan incident. Although Tonya claims she was not directly involved, a mystery man smashed Kerrigan’s knee with a steel rod – an attempt to remove Tonya’s competition. Harding denied any knowledge of or participation in the crime, but it changed the course of her future.
I greatly enjoyed this movie. The acting was powerful., and the plotline stayed true to the story. It also gave some insight into the world of ice skating. There’s a great deal of violence, as well as obscene language, which contributes to its “R” rating.
Although I believe most of the narrative, I still came away with many unanswered questions.

– Carl White (Local History Librarian)