My Favorite Documentaries

The Crash Reel

Watching this, I thought it was going to be about one thing and the documentary took a 180 degree turn which left me stunned. This turned into a tragic story after Kevin’s accident but his incredible spirit during rehabilitation was so inspiring to me. This documentary far transcends the sport of snowboarding… The pillars of hope and family are really what this is all about. Now I am a fan of X Games and I root for Kevin and love watching how he has transformed his career into being a broadcaster.

The Crash Reel is a documentary film directed by Lucy Walker which premiered as the Opening Night Gala film on 19 January 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival.

Lucy first met Kevin Pearce (snowboarder) while mentoring at a retreat intended to inspire Nike, Inc’s action sports athletes to use their platform for social change at the invitation of David Mayer de Rothschild who had created the event. Lucy was immediately struck by Kevin and wanted to make a documentary film about him, and the result is “The Crash Reel”, which premiered at Sundance film festival on January 19, 2013 as the Opening Night Gala film in the Documentary Premieres section.

The film is described as a jaw-dropping story of one unforgettable athlete, Kevin Pearce; one eye-popping sport, snowboarding; and one explosive issue, traumatic brain injury. Through 20 years of sports and verite footage, The Crash Reel chronicles the epic rivalry between Kevin and Shaun White which culminates in Kevin’s life-changing crash and a comeback story with a difference. The film also showcases the Pearce family, including Kevin’s father glass-blower Simon Pearce and Kevin’s brother David C. Pearce who describes his struggle to accept his Down Syndrome.

The film also premiered at the X Games on 23 January 2013 in Aspen as the first ever movie to play as a featured part of the event.



Waiting for Superman

Education and our youth are the future. This documentary clearly illustrates some of the challenges that face our schools today in the United States. A few solutions are evident through this documentary and it inspires the viewer to make a difference.

Waiting for “Superman” is a 2010 documentary film from director Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott. The film analyzes the failures of the American public education system by following several students as they strive to be accepted into a charter school.

The film received the Audience Award for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film also received the Best Documentary Feature at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.



Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

My sister, Monica, was the one who told me about this documentary. After watching this, I became an avid fan of juicing. The ending of this film, will really tug at your emotions. This is really about Phil, the truck driver, who met Joe Cross while shooting this documentary on trying to lose weight by ‘juicing’ out of the back seat of his car. He was able to rescue the truck driver from the brink of suicide. I don’t want to spoil this great documentary for you but here’s to rebooting our life!

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is a 2010 American documentary film which follows the 60-day journey of Australian Joe Cross across the United States as he follows a juice fast to regain his health under the care of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Nutrition Research Foundation’s Director of Research. Cross and Robert Mac, co-creators of the film, both serve on the Nutrition Research Foundation’s Advisory Board. Following his fast and the adoption of a plant-based diet, Cross lost 100 pounds and discontinued all medications.

During his road-trip Cross meets Phil Staples, a morbidly obese truck driver from Sheldon, Iowa, in a truck stop in Arizona and inspires him to try juice fasting.



Food Matters

I love documentaries that unveil hidden truths… This one educates the viewer on all of the addicting types of foods out there. After watching this, it will really motivate you to eat right and healthy.

Food Matters is a 2008 documentary film about nutrition. The film presents the thesis that a selective diet can play a key role in treating a range of health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and depression, often substituting for medical treatment. Furthermore, it tends to label the medical industry as a ‘sickness industry’, which profits more from treating the symptoms of illness than curing the illness. The film accuses the medical and pharmaceutical industries of a general conspiracy to perpetuate poor health in order to maximize profits.



30-for-30 ‘Once Brothers’

I really liked this documentary. One of my former interns from the video room in 1996 is a top producer now for NBAE. Zak Levitt produced this documentary and did a phenomenal job with it. What hits so close to home is I remember when Drazen was drafted by Portland when my dad worked for the team. Then, when he was traded to New Jersey, my father worked for the Nets as well so I really have a strong connection to this story.

Once Brothers is a 2010 sports documentary film co-produced by ESPN and NBA Entertainment for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. The film chronicles the relationship of two basketball players from the former Yugoslavia—Vlade Divac (Serbia) and Dražen Petrović (Croatia). The duo played together on the Yugoslavia national basketball team from 1986–1990 and were at one time close friends, but the Yugoslav Wars drove them apart emotionally, as they came from opposing sides. Petrović died in an automobile accident in 1993 before the two could reconcile; much of film focuses on Divac’s regret that they were never able to resolve their differences.

The film received a mixed reception from those close to the topic in Croatia. Zdravko Radulović said it was a good documentary and that he believed Divac was truthful, but on the other hand, Franjo Arapović said it was mostly fabricated in a propagandist manner, while Stojko Vranković, who was Petrović’s best friend, said that the documentary omitted various relevant details that cast a different light on the story.



30-for-30 ‘The Fab Five’

I played during this era… It was really great for our team to see Juwan in this and how much he and the Fab Five did to impact the game of basketball as we see it today. Who wasn’t a fan of the Fab Five? I loved watching Juwan in this documentary. All of the players during that era thought they were the coolest, baddest dudes in college basketball. It was awesome to look back and see how we see it today.

The Fab Five was the nickname for the 1991 University of Michigan Men’s basketball team recruiting class that is considered by many to be “the greatest class ever recruited.” The class consisted of Detroit natives Chris Webber and Jalen Rose, Chicago native Juwan Howard, and Texas high school basketball stars Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. Four of the five were participants in the 1991 McDonald’s All-American Game