This year is the 25th anniversary of this classic documentary film. Hoop Dreams follows two teenagers from inner-city Chicago as they work hard to escape systemic oppression and achieve the American Dream through professional basketball careers.
First exhibited at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the audience award for best documentary, Steve James’ Hoop Dreams is the remarkable true story of two American dreamers; an intimate reflection of contemporary American inner-city culture, following two ordinary young men on the courts of the game they love.
Plucked from the streets and given the opportunity to attend a suburban prep school and play for a legendary high school coach, William Gates and Arthur Agee both soon discover that their dreams of NBA glory become obscured amid the intense pressures of academics, family life, economics and athletic competitiveness.
But most importantly, both boys remain focused on their dream, no matter how hard tragedy strikes or how desperate their situation becomes. It is their faith in the game that unites their family and gives each person hope. And it is this faith that ultimately allows them to build upon their failures as well as their triumphs and make for themselves a potentially better life.
This epic chronicle of hope and faith is a revelation, and a beacon of observational cinema.