This excellent documentary follows "Hardwood Dreams" and is worthy of attention for several reasons. First, it is rare for documentaries to "check in" with their subjects again, several years after they were made. This particular film re-visits its characters (subjects) 10 years later. The once-graduating high school seniors are now 27-28 years-old and coping with their own realities that are still intrinsically related to their dreams of becoming basketball players in the NBA.
Second, the film plays out well because it stands on its own two feet and in many respects it is much more accomplished than its predecessor. It is somehow more complete than the first "Hardwood Dreams" and its conclusions are far more shattering. That the African American community is still struggling with the same issues that it struggled with 10 years ago is only the tip of the iceberg. The reality is that young black boys still choose to pursue basketball despite their actual chances of success being minuscule. Nevertheless, the film's message is not necessarily a pessimistic one but rather an utterly realistic one. In one of the richest countries in the world, the USA, life in certain areas and for certain segments of the population follows rules that belong in a sort of medieval society ruled by violence, toughness and mere illusions of grandeur.
Third, it is always somewhat metaphysical to watch characters "then" and "now," as they evolve, mature, and realize that life often has a way to disagree with one's dreams for his life. This affords "Hardwood Dreams: 10 Years Later" an almost philosophical perspective and tone.
As documentaries go, this one has high production values throughout, without any compromises for sound or photography. The editing style is alert and poetic, allowing the story to breathe, live and eventually take flight as some of these characters' thoughts will stay with you as a spectator long after the closing credits. Try to watch this film. It's definitely not only for young black men with NBA dreams on their minds.
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