Hoop dreams analysis

Seen through the prism of basketball, this documentary says much about race and differential opportunity in the United States and the role that sports, as the only viable option to a better life, plays in shaping the lives of two typical inner city young black males. This film, like no other recent production, shows how basketball becomes a sense of obligation rather than a game. In many instances, the athletic success or failure of these inner city black kids literally becomes a matter of life and death. Despite its wide reception as a mainstream documentary, the film really provides an ethnographic portrait of inner city African American life as it relates to the game of basketball.

Hoop dreams analysis

Seen through the prism of basketball, this documentary says much about race and differential opportunity in the United States and the role that sports, as the only viable option to a better life, plays in shaping the lives of two typical inner city young black males.

This film, like no other recent production, shows how basketball becomes a sense of obligation rather than a game. In many instances, the athletic success or failure of these inner city black kids literally becomes a matter of life and death. Despite its wide reception as a mainstream documentary, the film really provides an ethnographic portrait of inner city African American life as it relates to the game of basketball.

Their life in the ghetto and their struggle to maintain it in an indifferent society do not warrant a glossy display. The film also decenters long held stereotypes about the residents who happen to live in the ghetto.

Hoop dreams analysis

Within it lie simple stories about the strength of the often fragmented families, the importance of the extended family in the African American community, the love shared at family celebrations and gatherings, the tremendous resilience in the face of too frequent setbacks, and the role that black women play in maintaining the family unit under conditions of near Third World poverty.

These themes take us on a journey to the other United States, capturing real human stories that remain ignored within popular debates about inner city pathology.

Hoop Dreams () - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb

Beginning at age fourteen, both youngsters are followed via betacam for four and one-half years, through their high school years attempting to reach their "hoop dreams.

They have such uncanny skill that it earns them attention in sections of Chicago a social world away from them. The film begins with a panoramic view of downtown Chicago from the angle of the projects. We see a quick glance of the surroundings that make up Arthur's and William's isolated world.

The neighborhood is complete with small kids playing on the street and other kids shooting basketball on fairly clean courts amid poor housing and unkempt surroundings. A 14 year-old William, watching with his mother, reacts joyously as his favorite players execute dynamic plays.

That's all I think about. There's no cheer from the crowd, no nets on the rims, but plenty of rust on the backboards as the film captures William in slow motion going up for a graceful slam dunk which seems quite an achievement for a 14 year-old kid.

Next we are introduced to Arthur, also 14, studying the players' graceful moves on TV with equal intensity. Alluding to pro-athletics' glamour and media saturation, his mother, Sheila Agee, says that Arthur tells his little brother he is on NIKE's tennis show television commercials.

The film follows William, Arthur and their families on the boys' slippery journey through high school as they meet an assortment of coaches, teachers, talent scouts and pro sports celebrities who all influence what both youngsters see as a viable goal: This vision of stardom has been dangled in front of the boys not only by coaches but by family as well.

William's brother and Arthur's father each try to live their fantasy of reaching the NBA through their up-and-coming hoop heroes. After both William and Arthur are accepted at the private St. Joseph's Catholic school, they make a three-hour round trip train ride every day to the suburb of Westchester to get to school.

The film very poignantly shows what William and Arthur must go through on one particular winter morning walking through the snow to get to the doors of St.

Their difficult trek shows just how hard that they must work to have a chance at their basketball dream. Once inside, Arthur recounts how different the school is from other schools he's attended, ones clearly not on par with white suburban academies like St.

Almost immediately he becomes stricken with self-doubt: A guidance counselor even told William, "You have to be one good ballplayer to get in this school with those grades.

This begins to ease his doubts that he can't compete with other St.

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But Arthur clearly hates school. To him it's a bother, just another hurdle he has to leap on his way to the NBA. The film stresses the differential treatment that talented young African American athletes get versus the treatment that ghetto youth do.

Both William and Arthur are promised partial tuition scholarships, while a scholarship fund at the Cabrini Green housing corporation will pay the remainder of the costs.

When they are in their sophomore year, the school raises tuition. Both William and Arthur must come up with additional funding to cover the increase. Arthur was the starting point guard on the freshman squad, but his skills did not develop as fast as head basketball coach, Gene Pingatore, would have liked.

On the other hand, William's performance proved so good that, as a freshman, he was a starter on the varsity team, one of Illinois' top ranked teams. William proved to be a valuable commodity, but not Arthur.

Coach Pingatore himself found funding for William. Patricia Weir, president of Encyclopedia Britannica, not only paid the remainder of William's tuition but provided him with an excellent summer job. In contrast, Arthur, who did not get any funding, was "locked out" of St.

Joseph's in the middle of a semester. To show this, the filmmakers employed a powerful visual metaphor: Both Arthur and his mother know why the school didn't find him additional funding — Coach Pingatore did not consider him star material.

This decision angered Arthur's parents and delivered a huge blow to Arthur's self-esteem.Beginning at the start of their high school years, and ending almost 5 years later, as they start college, we watch the boys mature into men, still retaining their "Hoop Dreams".

Both are recruited into the same elite high school as their idol, former Detroit Piston superstar Isiah Thomas. Lorenzo de Medici Film Analysis: Hoop Dreams () Written by Ann Kelsey Cinema of the Real: Documentary Films Paolo Grassini December 5, The Documentary, Hoop Dreams, directed by Steve James, is a masterful display of human drama.

Hoop Dreams is a American documentary film directed by Steve James and Simon Schumann, and written by James and Frederick Marx, with Kartemquin Films. It follows the story of two African-American high school students in Chicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players.

HOOP DREAMS says much about Black American life in particular, and U.S. society in general. Demonstrating the impact of class, race, differential opportunities, and gender are just as essential to this film as the game of basketball itself.

Lorenzo de Medici Film Analysis: Hoop Dreams () Written by Ann Kelsey Cinema of the Real: Documentary Films Paolo Grassini December 5, The Documentary, Hoop Dreams, directed by Steve James, is a masterful display of human drama.

Hoop Dreams is a American documentary film directed by Steve James and Simon Schumann, and written by James and Frederick Marx, with Kartemquin Films.

It follows the story of two African-American high school students in Chicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players.

Ben Joravsky’s Hoop Dreams: Summary & Analysis – SchoolWorkHelper