HOOP DREAMS

(1994)

Esquire (UK) - - Esquire Sport 2017 - Di­rected by Steve James

The Cit­i­zen Kane of sport doc­u­men­taries. Al­most ev­ery­one who has made one since lists it among his or her in­flu­ences. It was truly ground-break­ing in for­mat and con­tent. A film crew spent five years in Chicago with two school­boy bas­ket­ball prospects and their fam­i­lies, to craft a near three-hour film with a range and depth of in­sight sim­ply not seen be­fore. Since then, of course, the story of the kid trapped on the wrong side of the tracks with sport as their means of es­cape has been told many, many times, but there hasn’t been a film that takes the viewer into that world so fully. Hoop Dreams re­tains all of its emo­tional and dra­matic power, and has per­haps even gained some over time. Watch­ing it now, you re­alise that no one is putting for­ward the ver­sion of them­selves they feel they need to be on cam­era — an im­pos­si­bil­ity with the rise of re­al­ity TV in the last 10 years.

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