Timothy Gunatilaka
May 16, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Hoop Dreams

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
171 minutes
director
Steve James
distributor
Fine Line Features
author
Frederick Marx, Steve James
genre
Sports, Documentary

We gave it an A

Part heartrending insight into failed childhood dreams, part tragic argument for basketball as the sole salvation from inner-city struggle, Steve James’ real-life epic Hoop Dreams follows teens Arthur Agee and William Gates’ NBA pursuit in the wake of financial and familial adversity. EXTRAS Excerpts from Siskel & Ebert provide a fine tribute, culminating in Ebert calling the doc the best film of the ’90s. In a commentary, James and producers Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marx question the documentarian’s role, as over five years of filming they couldn’t resist becoming involved with their subjects’ families and community (even helping the Agees move out of the projects). But it’s the track recorded last January featuring Agee and Gates — now in their 30s, a clothing entrepreneur and a pastor, respectively — that poignantly reveals the connection they shared before, during, and after Dreams.

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