I hadn't considered doing a film review of The Hooping Life, because to me the premiere was an event more than a screening.
Of course, I wanted the documentary about hula hooping to be good. But I was looking forward to the event because of the live performances before the movie and then the hoop jam that would happen after. I had friends and instructors that would be participating in both. It is one of the "communities" that has been so incredibly open and inviting to us since being in Atlanta.
The film was better than I expected. I thought it would be good, it was great.
The event also wonderful, although that was a bit less of a surprise.
The YouTube video below was on facebook, Atlanta Hooping. Shot and edited so much better than I could.
Many people upon hearing just the title, will think the Hooping Life is about basketball because of the successful documentary Hoop Dreams "the story of two African-American high school students in Chicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players."
The similarities between the two films are interesting as are their differences. Both take a very accessible, iconic American past-time and show how life-changing it can be. Both are inspiring, showing how people can turn to something like basketball or hula-hooping and focus on that and use that focus to lift oneself out of a place, be it physical or metaphorical that might be toxic or damaging.
One major difference is the end goal. In Hoop Dreams, it is to "make it", to get to the NBA and be a star. In the Hooping Life, the goal is less obvious. In both films, the journey is the story. But more people will wonder about whether the boys in Hoop Dreams made it into the NBA, (they didn't) than what happens to the characters in the Hooping Life. I believe this is because we value the perceived brass ring more than being OK, stardom over existence.
I know that I am drifting toward a review on current society, rather than on the Hooping Life, but I think that while that might be true, it is also very relevant to the nature and themes that the documentary presents. The film shows people using hooping for different reasons. And yet hooping connects them all.
****It is at this point that I must weigh my motivations and goals and time. Part of me would like to write a thorough and engaging film review. Another part is fine with what I've said and know that I have laundry to do, "professional" work to catch up on, etc.etc, and at this point the pragmatic must win out.
We had a great time at the open hoop jam after the show.
Our good friend Katina, let us play with her amazing LED hoops and showed Skye and myself a few new tricks.
We tried out the hoop-cam, but would realize afterward how much better the Go-Pro camera does with more light.
So much fun.
Now go out and give hooping a try and if you it can, check out the Hooping Life, it is awesome.