Dir: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin
Featuring: Bill Courtney, Montrail ‘Money’ Brown, O.C. Brown, Chavis Daniels
The Film: I am a huge fan of documentaries, this year alone I have watched quite a lot and on a range of different subjects. The beauty of watching documentaries whether they be a film or an hour program, is that you can learn and get immersed in any sort of subject and learnt things even if you don’t that subject interesting or aren’t knowledgeable about it. I know a few people were rather surprised to hear I was watching a film about American football, and for those reasons stated above is why.
However Undefeated is not just about football, in fact the sport comes secondary to the story being told. Sure I probably picked up a few things about the sport (such as positions), but what I took away was so much more and it really hit my heart as well. This film is of sorts like a Hoop Dreams (read Sam’s excellent guest review here) for a new generation, they both certainly made me feel very emotional and I did learn things along the way.
With Undefeated, we follow a High School football team who have not played in a play-off game for over 100 years. This school is Manassas High, and the sports in the school are underfunded and they try and make do with what they can. They have a volunteer Coach Bill Courtney, who despite the odds does his best to Coach the team and help out the students. The students/players we focus on are three very different boys, each with their own problems. Each person we see has their own demons, and the film really shows how they try to defeat these demons. It is not an easy ride, not at all and Coach Courtney makes a lot of scarifies.
It is sad to see the situation a lot of these students are in, growing up with an absent parent or no parents, almost feeling hopeless at life. Football is a way out of this, and the chance for the football scholarships offer a light. This light is what the Coach wants for them, and it is very moving and emotional to see the lengths he goes to in helping. He isn’t doing it for money since it is a volunteer position, his own business suffers, and he does this because he truly wants to help. There are many ups and downs, such is life right?
This is an amazing documentary, not about the sport but about the people. It gives hope, and it certainly reminds you there are genuine people out there. Undefeated is a very well made piece, it tells its story with its heart on its sleeve and I dare anyone to watch this film and not have a tear or two trickling down their cheek. I can truly say that this film deserved its Oscar for Best Documentary, it is an amazing experience and something I plan to watch when I need a boost in life and to be inspired.
The Australian DVD
Audio/Video: The video is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. Audio is presented with Dolby Digital Audio 5.1.
This is a nice looking and sounding DVD. Both the video and audio were very clear and crisp, I was highly impressed with the quality.
It is a bit disappointing that there are no other bonus features.
Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.