Ben Oliver

Banner image for Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

If I don’t make it, don’t you forget about me.
13 March 2022

A documentary following two African-American high school basketball players through all four years of school on their attempt to get into college and go professional.

I don’t have much to add to the discourse about a certified masterpiece™, only to say that if you are hesitating to sink three hours into a documentary about school basketball, don’t. It’s a thoroughly compelling and incredibly well made film. By following two people at a crucial time in their lives it opens a window into a whole brutal world I had only the faintest idea about.

The families are trying to get by on a shoestring while people are convincing them to send their kids to expensive schools. Then to twist the knife as they reach the end of school, the snakes in the grass come out and do an incredibly aggressive sales pitch to lure the kids to various colleges. All to get them roped into a system that hoovers up talent, chews it up and mostly spits it out.

This is all delivered in an unusually journalistic and dignified tone. The story speaks for itself and the film-makers are more than happy to get out of the way of it.

A must see.

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