un­de­feated

Esquire (Malaysia) - - MACHINERY -

(2011) Di­rected by Daniel Lind­say and TJ Martin

As fans of TV’S Fri­day Night Lights know, high­school foot­ball is where the good stuff lies, where dreams are made and shat­tered, where talk­ing to God and lis­ten­ing to Coach are the only rules of the locker room. This is the IRL ver­sion of that drama, which won an Os­car for Best Doc­u­men­tary Fea­ture. “Foot­ball does not build char­ac­ter,” says Bill Court­ney, coach of the Manas­sas Tigers, “it re­veals char­ac­ter.” This film does the same, via young men from a for­got­ten Ten­nessee town and Court­ney, who might just be an an­swer to a pre-match prayer. At one point, the team’s wildest wild­card, who’d missed the pre­vi­ous sea­son be­cause he was in ju­vie, gives an im­promptu speech prais­ing a team­mate he’d hit a few weeks prior. You can tell it’s the hard­est thing he’s ever done, and that play­ing for the team has changed him for the bet­ter. If your eyes re­main dry, there is some­thing wrong with you.

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