Hoop Dreams (Steve James, 1994)

What's it about? A documentary following Arthur and William, two high-school teenagers who dream of playing professional basketball. However, they must also deal with events in their everyday lives which may put pay to their aspirations.

Is it any good? A riveting basketball documentary. Although saying Hoop Dreams is about basketball is like saying Christmas is about tinsel. For in skilfully assembling the marvellously intimate footage of Arthur and William, their families, their education and their environments, James has captured a thousand priceless moments of human drama that make up life itself, with all its ups-and-downs, interactions and emotions. And whatever your circumstances, wherever you live, whatever sport you follow, these moments will resonate with experiences in your own life in a way that few fictional films can ever manage.

Anything else I should know? Renowned critic Roger Ebert is a huge fan of the film, calling it the great American documentary. In 2009, he held a 15th anniversary celebration, in which he followed up the stories of William and Arthur to see how their lives had panned out. If you don't want to find out after watching the film, you might want to check if you're actually human. 

What does the Fonz think? He shoots! He scores! A full 3-pointer.

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