One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all-time, Hoop Dreams has become a model for how to construct a fact-based film, creating intimate and emotionally resonant portraits of its subjects while exploring the larger social issues. The film focuses on William Gates and Arthur Agee, two teenagers from inner-city Chicago, and follows them for almost five years, as they pursue their dream to become professional basketball players. Both young men are talented sportsmen, but as Gates and Agee persue their dream, they must contend with the pressing issues and difficulties of social class and racism, as well as the predatory practices and increasingly ruthless, big-business tactics of college and even high school sports. Hoop Dreams chronicles much more than just the individual experiences it examines the larger problems that beset inner-city African-American families and how they cope with those difficulties through family support and friendship. It remains a seminal documentary film, both poignant and thought provoking in its story of lives and dreams entangled by forces beyond their control.
William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates, Sheila Agee, Arthur 'Bo' Agee, Earl Smith, Gene Pingatore, Isiah Thomas, Marlyn Hopewell, Bill Gleason, Patricia Weir, Marjorie Heard