20 September, 2011

Hoop Dreams (Documentary)

Considered as one of the most influential documentaries, Hoop Dreams is also regarded as one of the best. Seeped in reality the film follows William Gates and Arthur Agee, two basketball NBA dreamers/hopefuls, from their Freshman Year in School till admissions into College, a period of about 4 years.

The beauty of Hoop Dreams is in the detail. Its running time of approximately 170 minutes allows it to focus not only the leads, but everyone that surrounds them. The documentary is an in-depth look at the lives of William and Arthur with equal emphasis on everything and everyone that is responsible for shaping their life.

Hoop Dreams is also a roller coaster ride of emotions. Just like the game of Basketball there are up and downs aplenty for the two basketball players. From being focused on basketball to finding the focus of their life, the documentary is a first-hand look at broken dreams, jubilant moments, passionate victories, family troubles, and growing up.

From the point of view of the game, Hoop Dreams showcases the politics of educational institutions and works as an insight into the entire selection process from scouting players to keeping them in schools with scholarships. Filmed brilliantly, the camera acts as a keen observer of all the activities from the practice sessions and games to family confrontations and emotional highs and lows.

Hoop Dreams was a joy to watch. The audience follows William and Arthur as they mature over the four years realizing that life is hard and it doesn't always go as planned. On route to college they experience parents separating, getting dropped from school failing to pay the tuition and in case of William even have a kid.

Hoop Dreams is as much a sports documentary as it is a documentary about passion, obsession, love, growth, education, and most importantly life.

5/5 Star Rating


  1. This is on TV on Friday night. I've been planning on watching it ever since Roger Ebert said it was the best film of the 90s.

  2. Tyler, make time and watch it. It's long, but totally worth it. Thanks

  3. Really? Did Rogert Ebert said that? I have to see this.

    Thanks for the review Raghav.

  4. Right, so if Ebert says it you HAVE to watch it, but when I said it... nothing :-) Just Kidding. It really is a great watch and like i said, the beauty is in the detail of the story. Enjoy and let me know what you thought. Thanks for commenting.

  5. I don't know. It's just that I have a regard of Ebert's chosen movies. Not to mention he is the first (or the only one?) to receive an international award among the movie critics. :]

  6. That's nice. I really don't follow him at all. I find reading reviews of people I have interacted with over twitter more rewarding. It gives me an insight into the personality of the person who is writing the review and it means a lot more to me. But yes if you agree with what he says then I guess it's better to take his word as well :-)