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Hoop Dreams

August 25, 2010

868. Hoop Dreams
Directed by Steve James
USA, 1994
IMDB | allmovie

Reviewed by Ally
First viewing


Hoop Dreams is a documentary following Arthur Agee and William Gates, two African-American teenagers whose promising basketball skills earn them scholarships to the predominantly white St. Joseph High School. The two contend with long commutes, social inequities, sporting injuries, slipping grades and strained family relations throughout their four years of high school.

Essential Scene:

Arthur’s mother expresses pride in her son’s achievements whilst preparing for his eighteenth birthday.

He’s a great kid. And some kids don’t live to his age, you know? That’s another thing to be proud about — That, you know, it’s his eighteenth birthday, he lived, and to get to see eighteen, that’s good.


I did not relish the prospect of watching Hoop Dreams, considering my complete lack of interest in sports, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself thoroughly invested in the outcome of each game. But the film is about more than just basketball; the emotional journeys of Arthur and William are applicable across any boundaries. However, the 170-minute running time is a little wearing.

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