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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This film is often discussed in terms of its social context, as it should be, but watching it now, some two decades after the events depicted in the film, it reveals itself as a great human story of dreams and hopelessness. It's a deep, intimate story told on an epic scale.
The most comprehensive and intimate documentary that I have seen. And I was still surprised when I realized afterwards that it was 3 hours long. They managed to fit 5 years of life into a 3 hour package that felt like 90 minutes.
Life's a constant struggle and this documentary shows it very well. As well as being emotionally engaging, it is without doubt a very important documentary showing how wrong the american school system can be regarding scholarships. Recommended!
Amazing that this started out being shot for a 30 minute PBS special about inner city basketball players and turned into one of the best documentaries in the world. Both inspiring and sad how the hopes of entire families rest on the shoulders of children. I like what Jr. says near the end – make it or not, I won't come back and stick up a store, or become a drug dealer. What a transformation we see in him.