Returning exclusively to cinemas and Curzon Home Cinema this month for it's 25 anniversary, this classic documentary - widely regarded as one of the greatest ever made - is introduced here by director Steve James.
It’s 25 years since Steve James unveiled his epic portrait of two teens attempting to work their way up, through college scholarships, into the National Basketball Association and a glittering career in the sport they love. But unlike the myth of the American Dream, the two boys’ journey would be stymied by economic hardship.
James’ film was originally intended to be a 30-minute documentary for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). But the filmmaker’s interest in his subjects, and the realisation that their story also reflected a grander narrative of contemporary African American life, transformed it into a five-year shoot and an epic documentary that would win the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival. What’s remarkable is that James’ completed film feels not a minute too long. It’s an extraordinarily assembled work — and remains the only documentary to be nominated for a Best Editing Oscar — that takes us on a journey which proves to be both enlightening and moving.
★★★★★ "Heartfelt and affecting." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
★★★★★ "On of the first films to suggest that what happens behind a sport is more interesting than the action." Kevin Maher, The Times
★★★★★ "A three-hour documentary about basketball is probably not most people's idea of a night out, but this one is unforgettable." - Timothy Sortie, Time out