15 May 2008
I enjoy documentaries -- a fact I've mentioned in this blog before.
The underlying challenge is to stay true to fact, while giving the movie structure and focus.
A friend of mine told me that she doesn't generally enjoy documentaries, for roughly this reason -- the true-to-fact part spills out over whatever aesthetic structure is created to contain it, and the devices by which it is contained are rather too transparent for her to enjoy them.
This was the same friend who urged me once to watch "Jesus Camp," so you might take that comment with the flavoring it warrants.
At any rate: Hoop Dreams was a superb movie. As everyone knows, the filmmakers followed two young men in inner-city Chicago, each of whom saw his skills on the basketball court as his way out.
One of the young man had, at first, marked success. He got onto the varsity team of a suburban prep school and looked like he would become a star, going "down state" to the Illinois championships. The other one: well ... he was briefly in the suburban school as wel, but didn't get on to the Varsity team and no financial angel appeared to allow his fimily to keep him there, so it was back to the central-Chicago high school.
There are twists after that, which I won't spill. I recommend that you view Hoop Dreams for yourself -- it isn't hard to obtain -- and that you then resist any temptation to ask yourself whatever hapened to the two young men it portrays after the credits rolled. What happened, happened. Their lives have continued in the ordinary sloppy way. Leave that be. Laissez-faire.
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.