Renan Ozturk/Handout

Competitive callings

Documentary | Five documentaries offer diverse sports experiences
by Sharon Dierberger
Posted 4/09/20, 04:40 pm

Since COVID-19 has sidelined professional, amateur, and kids’ sporting events, some fans are wondering how to get their competitive sports fix. Only so many times can you rewatch game six of the 2011 World Series when the Cardinals beat the Rangers 10-9 in 11 innings. (If you like baseball, the excitement and competitive thrill that game generates make it worth watching.) 

The five documentaries listed below may have escaped notice when originally released. Each is very different from the next and immerses the viewer in a unique sports culture. Each has caveats, so take note. 

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Death row drama Clemency offers little hope

by Bob Brown
Posted 4/09/20, 04:37 pm

“I’m alone, and nobody can fix it.” So prison warden Bernadine Williams describes carrying out executions. But she could be speaking for every character in Clemency, a film from writer/director Chinonye Chukwu. Loneliness and despair escort all on the walk toward death, Chukwu seems to say.

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Romulus Entertainment

The color of money

Movie | African American entrepreneur challenges establishment in historical drama The Banker
by Bob Brown
Posted 3/26/20, 12:41 pm

Filmmakers who tackle themes of social inequality sometimes allow agendas to run roughshod over storytelling. Producer Anthony Mackie and director George Nolfi take a more engaging approach in The Banker, delivering a teachable moment about racial injustice while keeping drama front and center. 

The film owes much of its watchability to an intriguing main character and top-notch performances from Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson. Strong language and a split focus are drawbacks.

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