Capone says the sports doc THE OTHER DREAM TEAM is a slam dunk!!!
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.
When the Olympic basketball team from Lithuania showed up to collect their medals in 1992 Barcelona (known by many as the year of the U.S. "Dream Team"), they piqued the interest of many by wearing tie-dyed shirts featuring art work that looked suspiciously like it came from the Grateful Dead (it did). The story that led to those men at that Olympics is captured in THE OTHER DREAM TEAM, one of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring sports documentaries I've ever seen.
In one movie (from first-time feature director Marius A. Markevicius), we see how a group of extremely talented Lithuanian basketball players went from being forced to play for the Soviet Union to playing under their country's own independent flag in just a few short years. The film isn't just a sports story; it's a tale of national pride and personal freedom that most documentaries could only hope to achieve.
Featuring interviews with all of the key members of the team, the film chronicles their road from playing in Lithuania to being snatched up to play for the USSR, most notably in 1988 Seoul Olympics, marking the only time Team USA lost the gold medal. A point of constant frustration was that all of the visiting journalists thought the team members were Russian, which they were hesitant to correct. Wherever the team went, including some exhibition games in America, they were closely watched by KGB agents, who they outsmarted regularly. The team members tell great stories of buying clothes and electronics to sell on the black market on the other side of the Iron Curtain, a practice that served as their primary income since they made very little from actually being on the team.
The team members' talent and abilities were so well known worldwide that during one NBA draft, a team actually symbolically drafted one of the players (the Soviet government refused to let the player travel to the States). What's even more remarkable is the responsibility that fell on the players' collective shoulders once the Iron Curtain was torn down, and Lithuania took its independence. The nation was virtually bankrupt financially, so there was a great deal of doubt that the team would get to play in Barcelona. But a random article that ran in a San Francisco newspaper caught the attention of the Grateful Dead, who became the team's sponsor to the Olympics, thus the tie-dye warm-ups.
The team took one of the most unusual, emotional rollercoasters of a ride through history, riding in the front car and pulling its tiny nation with it. THE OTHER DREAM TEAM is straight-forward storytelling, but this is one helluva story, the likes of which you probably won't see again, most certainly not in a sports doc. Be sure and check this one out if it lands at an art house near you.
-- Steve Prokopy
Follow Me On Twitter
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
+ Expand All
Oct. 12, 2012, 2:29 a.m. CST
Got the bronze both times.
Oct. 12, 2012, 2:37 a.m. CST
Oct. 12, 2012, 4:09 p.m. CST
my brother was a great high school basketball player, and this just might be a great Christmas present for him (assuming it makes its way to dvd).
- HERCULES ON THE RADIO!! Learn What Ain’t It Cool’s TV Critic Thinks Of Adam McKay’s ANCHORMAN 2 And Spike Jonze’s HER!! Plus The Return Of KNBC Movie Critic Sasha Perl-Raver!! Listen And Call In LIVE Saturday 10pm PT / Sunday 1am ET!! -- 740 total posts 518 posts
- Is There A Snowball's Chance In Hell A&E Will Cancel DUCK DYNASTY, Cable's Biggest Reality Series, Because One Of Its Stars Called Homosexuality A Sin?? -- 765 total posts 58 posts
- X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST has lost a mutant! -- 345 total posts 18 posts
- We now have the first full trailer for TRANSCENDENCE and it is insane!! -- 206 total posts 13 posts
- In the AGE OF ULTRON, Earth's Mightiest Heroes may also have to contend with Baron Von Strucker! -- 111 total posts 5 posts
- Capone loves the decadence, energy and scam artistry of David O. Russell's AMERICAN HUSTLE!!! -- 69 total posts 5 posts
- We have an exclusive test screening review of Seth MacFarlane's next film, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST! -- 78 total posts 5 posts
- Aaron Paul. Car. Chopper. Explosion. NEED FOR SPEED poster! -- 56 total posts 4 posts
- THE EXPENDABLES 3 Teaser Evokes...BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI!?!? -- 248 total posts 4 posts
- This Week's Saturday Shorts: A Souffle of Top-Notch Shorts! -- 3 total posts 3 posts