Tuesday, March 07, 2006

DVD Review for Edge of America (2006)

Great film for everyone!

Chris Eyre (Director Smoke Signals, Skins) dribbles us onto the hard court of Three Nations woman’s Basketball. Kenny Williams (James McDaniel) is running from his past. He takes an English teaching position on the Three Nations Reservation in Utah. Unbeknownst to school administrators he is black man. This puts him as a mark for the native students.

Kenny needs some additional income so he thinks of coaching the dismal O’fer Lady Warrior’s basketball team. The interim coach Annie (Irene Bedard) is more of a mother than a coach. The local do-it-all Cuch (Wes Studi) convinces Kenny to coach the woman’s basketball team. Coach Williams soon learns that he is fighting an uphill battle with teamwork and Native family traditions especially Mother Tsosie. (Geraldine Keams)

I absolutely adored this film and totally related to this film. The woman’s balling at my old all Native high school was just as competitive with the more expensed mostly white high schools. The gym, attendance and excitement took me back to the days of playing ball for the love of it and close-knit teammates.

I try not to be a nit pick on an overall good film, but the film started off with some shaky camera angles following Kenny to the Three Nations reservation. (Personal preference) It was probably due to the handheld cameras. After a few minutes it disappeared. Filming the basketball action was comparable to other basketball films that I have seen. But I wished I would have seen the free throws.

Carla (Delanni Studi), Shirleen (Misty Upham) and Marissa (Deanna Allison) are some of the talented actresses that make up the basketball team. Leroy McKinney (Tim Daly/Producer) is the father of Carla who struggles with the loss of his wife. And the angry, outspoken Franklin (Eddie Spears) is Carla’s boyfriend plays his character outstanding. This film contains a lot of talented Native actors who are now more popular since filming.

This film was filmed in 2002 for Showtime. Maybe it’s just me but these films need to get released to the general public faster. Though, money is always at the root of the problem. I have to give kudos to Annie Humphrey’s songs that fit perfectly for this film.

Purchase this DVD for the entire family. There are not many extras on the DVD, but there is a filmography for the main actors.

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