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
The film was originally intended to be a 30-minute PBS special about multiple players on a single basketball court. After 5 years, the filmmakers had shot 250 hours of footage, which was trimmed down to 3 hours. 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 »
It runs for three hours but it feels much less, such is the power that this documentary holds. Absorbing, you get sucked in and the film has this grip on you.
If Reality TV is your thing, I'd seriously give this film a go, then you can stop watching Reality TV and start to recognise, understand and prioritise real-world situations that actually matter, like racism, poverty, drug abuse, peer pressure and well, dreams.
You'll fall in love with the characters, and there's even a bad-guy for us to boo. You can sometimes question the manipulative techniques on display, but the film is actually not as guilty as some, the makers have a genuine affection for their subjects and do as much as they can within the rules of documentary to help them out without compromising their objectivity.
Be that as it may, this film should be compulsory viewing for many younger audiences, as it shows you exactly how real life differs from the garbage that passes for representation of youth on TV and in film today.
I really can't say enough about the need for more films like this, the fact that the Academy Awards were changed because of the strength of this film goes some way to showing you exactly how powerful it is.
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