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Hoop Dreams

Director: Steve James


Quite simply the best sports movie since Raging Bull, and one of the highlights of the London Film Festival, 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 Joe’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 devasting emotional journey, a heart breaking testament to endeavour and resilience, but also a salutary protrait of capitailism in crisis: 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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