America Reframed

Passionate Politics

Episode Guide »
Madison Park Vocational High School, Boston, Massachusetts. This documentary film chronicles the stories surrounding the players of an inner-city high school basketball team over the course of a potentially historic season. It is as much about the challenges facing inner-city youth and the public school system, as it is about a school's passion for basketball and a coach's devotion to his players. The Madison Park Cardinals are a dysfunctional, but talented high school hoops team, sprung up from the Boston streets and playgrounds. For the players on the team, basketball is oftentimes their escape, their crutch, and their way forward. In the center of this kettle of hope and chaos is Coach Dennis Wilson, a unique hero for our times. A former semi-professional player, philosophizing history teacher and disciplinarian, Coach Wilson chants, harasses and cajoles his charges onto the court and in his classroom as a way to instill lessons that go beyond winning and losing. In the midst of a 19-0 season, on the eve of the state tournament, life for the MP Cardinals, players, coaches, family, and friends, proves to be anything but ordinary. As players struggle to stay in school and on the team, a slew of obstacles oppose them, from poverty to academics, from neighborhood rivalries to city-wide tragedies, they put to trial the team's season motto: 'The only team that can beat Madison, is Madison." Before the end of the last whistle and as the team heads into the its' final regular season games and tournament showdowns, MP Pride will be sorely tested.
 

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