Managed to make me care about sports without any kind of emotional manipulation, but simply by giving two boys' dreams the serious consideration they deserved. Even more pressing, we should consider whether it's really hoops that they dream of, and not the freedom to pursue dreams without so many systemic hoops set up for them to jump through along the way.
I've only ever attended one basketball game when my beloved Aunt took me to see the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. I remember thinking, I wish I could play netball in the same way! Now having watched Hoop Dreams I realise that if I'd worked as hard with as much dedication it could've been possible to become a netball pro. Determination, drive & belief is what you need to beat the best; this is a great sports doc
'One walks out the door, another one walks in', that line as the couch says goodbye to Gates sums up not just the basketball but all sport of the never ending machine to find the next elite big named star, it's a cooperation that chews them up and spits them out. And on this 5 year journey the emotional exhaustion these 2 teenagers go through is the realisation that not all under dog stories come out a happy ending.
What makes this film seem so epic to me is not the effort in filming this over so many years, but the deep insight into a section of society, and a system that seems deeply flawed and racist, and willing to support the dreams of the young to support an ideal far removed from the actual lives of the protagonists. Inspiring and deeply depressing
A prescindere che si ami o meno il basket, questo non è un film sul basket o quantomeno lo prende da pretesto per addentrarsi in una analisi sociologica e culturale degli Stati Uniti. Vedere i continui capovolgimenti di fronte nelle vite dei protagonisti è come assistere ad una partita di basket, in questo caso la più importante: la partita della e per la vita.
"Hoop Dreams" is a great Documentary, I couldn’t believe that 3 hours could have gone so quickly! It's difficult to believe there was a camera in there. I loved it because it was real life, of William and Arthur, and we were living it with them. Real emotions, real events, real dreams, real passions and frustrations... I felt for the first time what a parent can feel. I was hoping with them that they could succeed.
An epic work, full of joys and qualms and skills and tests, and testing again. Bo and Curtis were later gone too soon, and the protagonists, both family men continue lives raising more basketball stars. A song where life is not by any means guaranteed, the feeling that both young men were hoping for more holds some sadness
'Hoop Dreams' celebrates the exhilarating grace of basketball, but also examines with devastating clarity the support a racist capitalist system derives from the grotesque prominence of sport (especially school and college sport) in American life and the cruelty with which it toys with young black lives. One flaw: not enough consideration of the film's own impact on the lives of its subjects. Still, a masterpiece.
Hoop Dreams is about about education, about class and social issues, and about the whole damn system, which is both highly problematic and yet also an essential way for many young men (no idea what, if any, opportunities are there for young women) to massively improve their lot in life. And basketball. Oh, the runtime is just under three hours. It doesn't feel that long, and it's very much worth the time investment.
An important documentary which is up there with the best of narrative story telling in cinema. It's far reaching scope deals with inequality and race in America, but also in hopes and aspirations - an essay on the American Dream. Without becoming polemic, the film brilliantly demonstrates how the class system in the US is entrenched by its education system.
The way you're completely immersed into these pivotal few years of William Gates & Arthur Agee's lives has a certain intimacy that connected me to their stories, especially how we don't just get a sense of their progression in their field, but also their relationships with those close to them, and the ebb and flow of success and setbacks that each of them experience along the way.
So many reviews here describe the documentary as a spotlight on the American Dream. Let's be clear, for Black African Americans, there is no American Dream. Black experience, especially during this docu (1990-94), was (still is, for so many) American Survival. Arthur turns 18, and his mother's celebration is not of his coming of age, but that he isn't dead. Nightmarish depiction of an every day broken system. I cry.
Incredible. This works in stark contrast to Michael Jordan's fairytale pursuit of the American dream in Netflix's The Last Dance. There are moments of pure heartbreak (Arthur's father buying drugs on the playground as he watches on), and pure joy (Arthur's mother getting her nurse's diploma). This is one of the most intricate and vivid depictions of life ever committed to film and should be seen by everyone.