Hoop Dreams

Dec 19 - Dec 21, 2014

(Steve James, 1994, United States, DCP, 170 min)

20th anniversary screening!
New digital restoration!
With exclusive video introduction and post-screening "20 Years Later" update by director Steve James, recorded at Northwest Film Forum!

Originally funded by PBS to be the half-hour “style wars” of street basketball, Hoop Dreams at twenty remains an invigorated, furious portrait of American racial imagination. 

Roger Ebert said it best: Hoop Dreams’ depiction of two high school ball players trying to make it in the prejudiced cauldron of Chicago in the ‘90s is “the great American documentary” (the Oscars snubbed it entirely).

James’ vision of the pipeline of poor, black talent brings to mind the Windy City from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. In high school, black athletes are still cheap enough to treat like penny stocks, and we watch as two of them brave the ringer of all-white private schools, poverty and the constant risk of injury for a shot at a scholarship. In this America, all of us are entrepreneurs of race and markets, like freedom, are never free.

"Arguably the best documentary of the '90s and certainly one of the greatest American independent films of all time. . .After a few minutes of watching the documentary, you begin to forget that you are watching a documentary. . .Its mood, pace, score, sequences, editing, characters, and tensions have the feel of a great drama in the class of The Godfather or Taxi Driver. This dramatic power helped usher in the age of the documentary" —The Stranger

"this great sports documentary from 1994 is poignant. . .Hoop Dreams isn’t tragic, exactly, yet it illustrates the few choices available for so many young black men even today." —Seattle Weekly

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