Filmed over a five-year period, Hoop Dreams follows two inner-city boys as they navigate the complex, competitive world of scholastic athletics and strive to overcome the intense pressures of family life and the realities of the Chicago streets.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
The scope of this documentary is stunning and you'd be hard pressed to find another American film that feels so remarkably true to life for so many people in this country. The basketball element is merely a vehicle for a much larger discussion taking place about class, education, and the evolution of dreams.
A cultural touchstone in '94 that doesn't seem to have aged a day in its portrayal of the modern American dream and the disappointments and set backs in trying to achieve it. One realizes that despite any skill or talent the system is there to take advantage of these youths, exploit them and move on to the next batch when/if they flame out. Heartbreaking and moving at times but always poignant and thought provoking.
Impressive in scope and message, Hoop Dreams is fascinating and beautifully layered with important social issues. One of the best documentaries, if not the best, I've ever seen. I wish I had seen this one while I was still playing basketball back in my teenage years in France. Would've been my anthem.
This is a story as much or more about the mothers as it is the young hoop prodigies. Gates' mother, Emma, really became the star of the documentary in my mind, the way she struggled to get certified as a nurse, which I think helped William grow beyond basketball, as she made sure he got an education. It is one of my favorite Criterion films.
One of the most beautiful stories that you will ever come across, and it's real life. A journey that will touch your heart and your soul, heartbreaking and uplifting. Definitely needs a follow up now that reality tv has blown up. It was robbed of a very deserving oscar!
A comprehensive look into the hopes and failures of the American dream from among those on the lowest rung of the ladder. Problems of race, poverty, education, violence, capitalism, and welfare pop in and out never explicitly discussed, but existing in the background provoking questions. For most involved it seems that basketball, whether directly or indirectly, is the only hope of escape from poverty.