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4.3
2,079 Ratings

Hoop Dreams

Directed by Steve James
United States, 1994
Documentary, Drama, Sport

Synopsis

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.

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Hoop Dreams Directed by Steve James

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1995 | Nominee: Best Film Editing

Sundance Film Festival

1994 | Winner: Audience Award (Documentary Competition)

Independent Spirit Awards

1995 | Winner: Special Distinction Award

Hoop Dreams, seemingly inadvertently, becomes a fascinating record of individual maturity and adolescent evolution, physically as well as psychologically.
October 24, 2018
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What is the value of black life? Few films have posed this question so insistently, and so thoroughly, as Hoop Dreams. The film was an unlikely success, achieving both critical acclaim and crossover box-office appeal despite its three hours. More importantly, Hoop Dreams enlarged the scale of what a socially engaged documentary could be: probing and comprehensive, intimate and grand, thrilling and devastating. It did so by placing the matter of black lives in the center of the screen.
January 03, 2017
The film is an epic, not only in its scope, but also in its accumulation of detail and its sense of character. One comes to read the film simultaneously on both of the levels Ebert mentions, yet it never feels challenging or intellectual. The Dickensian storytelling simply immerses you in the characters’ experience so fully that it feels like the American narrative in miniature.
July 15, 2016
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