Boys shoot­ing for the stars

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - RICHARD CLUNE

THE ABC should be con­grat­u­lated for de­liv­er­ing this weekly filmic fix – es­pe­cially given the al­ter­na­tive is light-hearted com­mer­cial dra­mas that strug­gle to break the mould.

Tonight’s out­ing, a look at marginalised black com­mu­ni­ties built around the as­pi­ra­tions of two young and tal­ented bas­ket­ballers is rightly her­alded as one of the best doc­u­men­taries ever made.

In­tro­duc­ing 14-year-olds Arthur Agee and Wil­liam Gates in 1986, the film fol­lows their ‘‘ hoop dreams’’ of a col­lege schol­ar­ship and pos­si­ble el­e­va­tion to a bet­ter life via the NBA over the en­su­ing five years.

Sport is largely pushed to the side­lines, the strength of this stun­ning piece of cinema verite built on the var­i­ous strug­gles, and great op­ti­mism, of the two fam­i­lies.

Seven­teen years since it claimed a top gong at the Sun­dance film fes­ti­val, Hoop Dreams still lands a pow­er­ful punch at high­light­ing the ev­ery­day plight of so many Amer­i­cans and their ul­ti­mate de­sire for equal­ity.

Hoop Dreams,

ABC2, tonight 8.30pm

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