(directed by Ross Finkel, Jonathan Paley & Trevor Martin, 2011)
**** (out of 5)
> Not a sports guy or a sports-movie guy, per se- but I loved this look at aspiring young major league ballplayers in the Dominican Republic.
. It is an astounding reality that almost half of new Major League Baseball recruits come from this tiny island nation. It’s a land of poverty and aspiration. Just like the inner city youths of HOOP DREAMS, they dream, (unrealistically for most of them), of achieving an obscene success in the sports arena, that would lift them and their families from poverty and change their lives forever. They play tirelessly, and train obsessively for a shot at this golden ring. And it’s a hyper-competitive process, that places such a value on signing 16 year old players that everything becomes grossly distorted. Fraud is rampant. Lies become institutionalized. Documents are doctored to hide the true ages of talented players.
. Again, as in HOOP DREAMS, we follow two young men with great prospects. It seems a done-deal that one or both will sign multi-million dollar contracts on that fateful day in July when signing season begins. But will reality intervene?
. Excellent documentary filmmaking!
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