New to DVD/VOD this week:
LONG TIME COMING: A 1955 BASEBALL STORY
Mill Valley, Austin, Oxford, Capital City Black, Global Peace
The story of the controversial first interracial Little League game to take place in the South.
In 1955, the Pensacola Jaycees, an all-black squad, and the Orlando Kiwanis, an all-white team, faced each other in the Little League State Championship in Florida. This was a controversial face-off, as up to this point, black and white teams would not compete against one another, some states even going so far as to have white teams forfeit games or start their own all-white leagues. While other Florida teams similarly forfeited, the Kiwanis finally agreed to the match, though one of their coaches quit in protest. Ultimately, the Orlando team won, but both teams helped make a small step forward for civil rights, though this is little remembered today. Strong’s film is framed by the captains of both teams, plus several surviving members, reminiscing about the experience, then both teams meeting up together after 60 years to finally speak to one another and address their memories and experiences of segregation and privilege, respectively. While a likeable idea for a doc, the historic game at its core was not filmed, putting Strong’s project at a disadvantage from which it’s not able to recover, resulting in a overly talky, repetitive, and visually lackluster film only really suited for baseball history fanatics.