Hoop Dreams

Director: Steve James

U.S.A.| 1994. Colour. Dolby stereo. 170 mins.

Quite simply the best sports movie since Raging Bull
Hoop Dreams is a three hour documentary about basketball. It begins by cutting between an NBA all-star game and a Chicago housing project, where teenagers huddle in front of the TV, eyes on the prize. Arthur and William are both 14 and good enough players to win a scholarship to a (mostly white) suburban high school, St Joseph’s.Thereafter, their fortunes diverge. William looks set to follow in the footsteps of Chicago’s favourite son, all-star Isaiah Thomas. Arthur doesn’t make the cut, and when his fees fall in arrears he finds himself back in the inner-city. We follow the boys over the next four years. It’s a devastating emotional journey, a heart-breaking testament to endeavour and resilience, sport is the only dream these kids have, their only ticket out of the ghetto – yet even the winners face a terrible price.

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