(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.