Brisk and well constructed documentary on baseball as it is in a very small minor league team
I have only once been to a baseball game and I'm not even sure it counts since it was Pittsburgh v's Arizona and ended with a soccer-esque score of 1-0; so for me I do not have the warm glow of nostalgia etc that many in the US do when it comes to going to the ball park. I can see the appeal and one of the things I enjoyed about it was that the crowd seemed very much like a community, with people moving seats to talk to one another – and this feeling is something that this documentary taps into very well.
The film is set in a very small town (25k) with a minor league baseball team called the Bees, which is affiliated with Kansas City in the major leagues. We get told some history, we told about the arrangement with the Royals and generally we get told what the sport and the team mean to individuals and to the wider community. It does all of this very well and the end result is a film that does have a lot of affection for the subject and mostly transfers those feelings to the viewer. It doesn't overdo it though and we also get to hear from different perspectives as to what the team and sport means to them. We also get some information on the racial mix of certain roles in the sport and the challenges of integrating communities into the US. What is extra impressive is that the film achieves all of this in 10 minutes.
And it isn't that it just rams it in and forces the door shut, it actually makes it work with a good flow, good comments and a snappy presentation that doesn't feel rushed even though it moves quickly. I cannot imagine the work to edit it down to be so short and still function well, but it does. Perhaps the subject matter will not appeal to all, but it is a warm little film with a surprising amount in there for the length.
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