la-et-mn-we-could-be-king-review-20140425Coming to VOD today, Tuesday, August 12: WE COULD BE KING

Judd Ehrlich’s portrait of a struggling high school football team premiered at Tribeca this Spring. It went on to be broadcast on ESPN and now comes to VOD via Tribeca Film.

Faced with a budget deficit in the hundreds of millions, the Philadelphia school district is forced to shut down two dozen schools, among them Germantown. Students from the nearly hundred-year-old high school find themselves in the precarious situation of joining their forty-year nemesis, Martin Luther King High. Despite a lack of any funding for school athletics, MLK’s administrators recognize the role of athletics as one of the few paths toward higher education for the African American student body, and continue their football program, merging the two rivals into a single team, run by volunteer coach Ed, who himself was laid off from his Germantown teaching job. Over the course of the tumultuous season chronicled in Ehrlich’s intimately observed film, the King Cougars must learn to set aside old grudges in order to score their first win in over two years – in the process serving as a symbol of the unity the merged school desperately needs. In charting the unexpected developments on and off the field, Ehrlich wisely concentrates on three main characters – in addition to the coach, players Dontae and Sal, both in danger of jeopardizing their opportunity for self-advancement – the former struggling with bad grades and a worse attitude, and the latter facing criminal charges for apparently being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

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