Urban youth, William Gates and Arthur Agee aspire to NBA stardom. They are selected to attend a prep school and play for a legendary basketball coach. The two encounter obstacles unforeseen en route to their dreams in this coming of age documentary.
Dir. Steve James, 1994, 176 min.
First shown at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the audience award for best documentary, Hoop Dreams is the remarkable true story of two American dreamers; an intimate reflection of contemporary American urban culture, following two ordinary young men on the courts of the game they love. Plucked from the streets and given the opportunity to attend a suburban prep school and play for a legendary high school coach, William Gates and Arthur Agee both soon discover that their dreams of NBA glory become obscured amid the intense pressures of academics, family life, economics and athletic competitiveness. While remaining epic in scope, Hoop Dreams manages to be intimate in detail, chronicling the universal process of growing up, coming of age, the love and conflict between fathers and sons, brothers, best friends and spouses. It's about success and failure not just on the court, but in school, at home, and ultimately, in society. And it does it in a way that no other film on sports has done before: it gives viewers an intimate look at the pursuit of the basketball dream while it is actually happening. "The best film of the 1990's" says Roger Ebert.
Part of the 'Master Class: Steve James' series:
Identifying and surveying exemplary careers in documentary production through an expansive lens.
Curated by Sylvia Savadjian.
Maysles Cinema (View)
343 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY 10027
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