The First Basket (2008)
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Critic Reviews for The First Basket
It uncovers a fascinating and largely forgotten chapter of the game's history that is well worth revisiting.
A valuable reminder that for nearly three decades, basketball was dominated by Jewish players -- and coaches who found the sport an ideal vehicle for assimilation in the United States.
When the history of the sport is allowed to unfold through the reminiscences of geriatric Yiddish pros, pic approaches the richness of its impressive archival trove. Too often, however, director David Vyorst's chauvinistic agenda intrudes.
The First Basket, a functional (if narrowly interesting) history lesson by the filmmaker David Vyorst, recollects the rich history of Jewish participation in basketball.
David Vyorst's comprehensive and celebratory documentary presents the stats in one easy-to-follow, nicely organized 86 minutes.
The First Basket is a moderately interesting documentary about a moderately interesting subject.
Audience Reviews for The First Basket
This was really good documentary on the beginnings of basketball in America and it's origins I'm sure will surprise a lot of people. It's all very interesting as you can see the game change, form and develop into the modern era and some of the key players from the begining give thier insights on how the game has evolved.
A talking head documentary which tells the story of jewish participation in the development of basketball. This documentary sheds an important light on a forgotten part of Jewish-American history.For Vyorst basketball was a way for Jews, especially New Yorkers, to become assimilated into American life. The big flaw for me is Vyorst doesn't do a convincing enough job explaining why there aren't many Jews playing at a high level today. I think it has less to do with demographic shifts and more to do with New York's shrinking influence on the game. You'd be hard pressed to find a star player in the NBA from New York of any race or ethnicity. (For those who would say Telfair or Marbury I would reiterate the word STAR.)Still this docco does a good job of highlighting a fascinating chapter in American History.
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