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Year of the Bull (2003)

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For a high school football player, the toughest challenge isn't always on the field


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Title: Year of the Bull (2003)

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Credited cast:
Chuck Amato ...
Nellie Charles ...
Taurean Charles ...
Steve Gallon III ...
Tim Lester ...
Roland Smith ...


For a high school football player, the toughest challenge isn't always on the field

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Chuck Amato, NC State head coach: Taurean can have a tutor for each course, and use it as many hours as he needs to. Because he's an investment.
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Disturbing documentary
16 September 2004 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

They take their high school football seriously in Miami's impoverished Liberty City neighborhood. VERY seriously. This documentary takes a look at Taurean Charles, the star player for Northwestern High, a school that has produced countless college athletes and almost two dozen NFL players. The film follows Charles on the field, where he generally excels, and in the classroom, where he doesn't. His future is tied up in the SAT exam, a test he's taken four times without successfully crossing the threshold established for college athletes by NCAA rules. (He takes the test for a fifth time at film's end, but I won't give away the result.) The most disturbing element of this film, however, isn't Charles' somewhat lackadaisical approach to the SAT, but the, erm, 'training methods' of his coaches. I know nothing about the game, but I can't imagine that the physical and mental abuse these young men are pounded with really does them any good. Coaches slap players, scream profanities at them, tackle players, and generally beat the living crap out of them...right on camera, and apparently without second thoughts. The testosterone is palpable. This is an interesting twist on the Hoop Dreams genre, but that film's basketball coaches were quite restrained in comparison to what we see here. A gut wrenching and powerful film, for all the wrong reasons.

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