Is it Two Escobars? The Best There Never Was? The U? Winning Time? King’s Ransom? Into the Wind?
There have been plenty – almost too many, really – fine, just absolutely fiiiiiiiine documentaries aired over the last two years, and almost all of them have been products of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, led by Bill Simmons and taken and run with by a fleet of oustanding directors and personalities.
You no doubt have your favourite, but the formula for the best “30 for 30” films is simple: it hits home with a certain city or country, it tells a story you don’t already know, and it connects the lives of its subjects with everything we see on TV.
It tells a deeper story than the one you thought you had figured out.
They’re about war and drugs and famine and family. And then, when that’s been told, sports.
It’s why Two Escobars (*above) is so eery and powerful, whereas Straight Outta L.A. – about Ice Cube, NWA, and the Oakland Raiders – is catchy but selfish. (*Two Escobars was nominated for a flurry of awards at the Cannes Film Festival, too.)
It’s why The Best There Never Was (*below) – about predicted Hall of Fame running back Marcus Dupree – hits home and shrills you, while Broke was just the same old schlock you’ve seen on E:60.
What’s your favourite?