“Five Stories About Sports, Not All of Them Uplifting”


A wide variety of films are presented at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Some will reach general audiences; some will just be seen at those small movie theaters in the city.

On Saturday, April 28, in conjunction with ESPN, five sports documentaries were screened.  It is probably only at film festivals that documentary film makers get to show their stuff.  And sports documentaries probably are a rarer breed of documentaries that struggle for an audience. 

The five films that were presented on Saturday are possible titles we could look for on DVD release in the future.

—-“On the Mat” about a high school wrestling team.  The reviewer of this piece in the NYT, thought this film shows how our society builds up sports into something than it ought not to be.

—-Town of Runners”–This film focuses on two teenage girl runners in Ethiopia.  They come from a town that has produced Olympic medalists and practically every young person in the area practices for hours.  This documentary is described by the reviewer as “a lovely film.”

—-Knuckleball”—This film is about two major league knuckleballers and how difficult it is to control a knuckleball pitch. 

The last two films have less of a feel good spirit.  “Benji” is about a promising basketball player, Ben Wilson, who was killed in his senior year in high school in a sidewalk fight over a trivial matter.  Lastly, “Broke” is bout professional athletes who make astronomical salaries and are broke a few years after they retire.

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