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Hoop Dreams

Page history last edited by Jayson Yeagley 11 years, 8 months ago

Viewing Day 1:0:00:00-0:29:03, Chapters 1-7

Discussion Questions

1. What has the director done to establish contrasts? Consider contrasts between the boys, schools, families, etc. What is the effect of these contrasts on you as a viewer?

2. What are some of the pressures the boys face? How does each handle this pressure?

3. Watching the day's viewing, you get a sense that the filmmaker spent a lot of time following the boys, but think back on the specific scenes you saw. Where and when do you think the filmmaker shot footage? How much time do you really think he had to spend to get what he did?

4. Was Arthur treated unfairly by St. Joseph's and its basketball coach? Why or why not?


Viewing Day 2:0:28:03-1:12:09, Chapters 8-18

Discussion Questions

5. Documentary filmmaking often raises certain ethical considerations. The director of Hoop Dreams surely had enough money to help Arthur's family get the lights turned back on. Should he have given them money? Why? Also, what factors did the director have to consider when deciding whether to include the footage of Bo buying drugs? Would you have included it if Bo had objected? Why? The film says that Bo had abused his wife. If that had happened during filming, should the filmmakers include it? Should they stop the beating? Why or why not?

6. Describe you feelings about Coach Pingatore. What has the fimmaker done to give you this feeling? Should the coach have allowed William to play? What are the pressures that William and other top-tier athletes face, especially with injuries?

7. Describe and use the role of music in this film so far. When is it used and what is the effect?


Viewing Day 3:1:12:09-2:03:00, Chapters 19-30

Discussion Questions

8. Is the recruiting process fair, according to this film? Does Marquette take advantage of William?

9. Why does the film spend time with the peripheral subjects (Bo, Sheila, Curtis)? What do they add to the film or relate to theme and tone?

10. In this day's viewing, much has been made of the importance of getting into college. Do William and Arthur seem to want to get an education, or is attending college a way to get into the NBA? How was this experiene changed recently since so many players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are going into the NBA directly from high school?


Viewing Day 4:2:03:09-2:46:00, Chapters 31-40

Discussion Questions

11. What are the differences between Coach Pingatore and Coach Bedford of Marshall? What role do you think editing plays in the different feelings we have about the coaches?

12. How are the Marshall games in the state finals edited to created more drama? How are they similiar to or different from fiction films about sports?

13. While the fim's title and the boys' obsessions make us think that this documentary is mainly about NBA dreams, what other dreams are explored? What does the director seem to be suggesting about dreams in general?

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