Soul in the Hole (1997)
Set in the gritty neighborhoods of Brooklyn and centering on basketball, this documentary presents a realistic and ultimately poignant look at a volunteer basketball coach and his relationship on and off the courts with his young team. There is a particular emphasis on Coach Kenny Jones' attempts to help the troubled star player Ed Smith, a youth who has lived on his own for many years. Instead of focusing intensely upon the actual games, the filmmakers have elected to spend more time off the court interviewing players and their families to present a portrait of life in an urban African American community. On court, the players and coach prepare to participate in the championship Soul in the Hole tourney. Also seen is the rise and fall of Smith who is so talented that he is recruited by a major university even though he is barely literate and may have a criminal record.
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