It’s a very long time since I went to the cinema and found myself welling up. Oscar winning ‘Undefeated’ does that to you. You don’t want to respond to this tale of an inner city football team battling to beat the odds but the characters are so compelling and the story so touching that you can’t help loving this documentary to bits.
On the surface it would appear to be your classic triumph over adversity story. A group of inner city kids from North Memphis under the tutelage of their white coach Bill Courtney turn abject failure into a winning season
In fact, Undefeated is an exploration of what happens when people act out of love for one another, not personal gain.
As Coach Courtney keep saying throughout the film ‘Sports do not build character, they reveal it’ and what is revealed about players like OC Brown, Chavis Daniels and Montrail ‘Money’ Brown is that they have character to spare.
The reason that we see this potential at all is of because of the sacrifice of men like Bill Courtney, who don’t help their young charges out of a desire to get some kick back from a big college team but because they genuinely care about them.
That is the key to the film. It’s not about sports but an attitude to life and our fellow men that in adverse times we do well to remember.