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This documentary follows two young African-Americans through their high school years as they perfect their skills in basketball in the hopes of getting a college scholarship and eventually play in the NBA. Arthur Agee and William Gates both show great potential and are are actively recruited as they look to enter high school. They start off at the same high school but unable to pay an unexpected bill for tuition fees, Arthur has to withdraw and go to the local public high school. The film follows them through their four years of high school and their trials and tribulations: injuries, slumps and the never ending battle to maintain their grades. Through it all, their hoop dreams continue. Written by
When the film failed to be nominated for Best Documentary, even though it was nominated for Best Film Editing, Entertainment Weekly ran a story about how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected documentary nominations. Most of the voting members were not documentary filmmakers, and many worked against nominating the film. As a result, the rules were changed to allow documentary filmmakers to vote in that category. See more »
Welcome to the 38th Annual NBA All Star game from Chicago Stadium.
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Thanks to the St. Joseph High School community and Coach Gene Pingatore who agreed to participate in a not for profit Kartemquin Educational film telling William and Arthur's stories. Today, St. Joseph, with a 39% minority enrollment, remains committed to the dream of a better life for all. Awarding need based financial aid to 40% of its students, St. Joseph with limited resources continues to maintain its academic excellence. A Hoop Dreams Fund has been set up to provide academic scholarships. See more »
Objective and Quiet, but Powerful Statement to Represent Disadvantaged Youth in Urban America
"Basketball is a ticket out of ghetto." (William Gates)
"... nobody cares about you. You're a black, you're a young male... The only reason why you're here [Nike training camp] is so you can make their team win. And if the team wins these schools get a lot of money." (Spike Lee)
These phrases, which have persisted as common knowledge among the African-American community during last several decades, have become familiar to the non-hyphenated Americans in the 90s, thanks to the films such as Boyz N the Hood and He Got Game. Among them, Hoop Dreams, a documentary that follows two black youths during a five-year period, is the most objective and the most quiet, but the most powerful statement to represent the disadvantaged youth in urban America.
The film reveals the pattern they follow. Being deluded by the luxurious surface of pro sports, they neglect education and then ending up going nowhere. The community suffers the vicious cycle and their feelings that the system exploits them remain.
Kudos to the filmmakers for their insane amount of work. They must have gone through numerous negotiations to attend and film various scenes, such as family's private events, classrooms, academic counseling, recruiting sessions with college coaches, and surgery operation rooms.
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