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USA 1994
Directed by
Steve James
171 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Hoop Dreams

Steve James' well-regarded documentary is the story of two young black high school students from Chicago, William Gates and Arthur Agee, for whom sporting prowess, in their case in basketball, is their only as their way out of the inner city ghetto.

Based on 250 hours of interviews, clips, and game footage, Hoop Dreams follows their story from their freshman year at predominantly white suburban St. Joseph High School for which they have been recruited, to their first year of college. William shines in his new environment but Arthur, a more troubled soul, shows little development and is quickly sent back to public school. His home life is further disrupted by financial struggles and the departure of his father. William suffers a series of knee injuries that undermine his confidence, and...whoa...the unexpected arrival of a baby daughter, which is hardly what a young man with dreams for a bright future needs.

Whilst we can guess at the probable outcome for both these young men, like Michael Apted's Seven Up series of films, we are on a real journey of discovery. Although at 170 minutes it longer than necessary, Hoop Dreams is a revealing window onto the reality of its subjects' lives and, indeed, of life itself.

DVD Extras: None

Available from: Madman

 

 

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