Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2012 CIFF: Pelotero

Tonight I volunteered for a short shift at a less hectic but still bustling Monday evening at the film festival, which I concluded with a wonderful documentary on my other great passion, baseball. Ever since the San Francisco Giants won the National League pennant in 1962 with Juan Marichal, Manny Mota, and Felipe and Matty Alou, Dominican players have been exploited by a league where they now make up 1/5th of its players. Much in the style of "Hoop Dreams", filmmakers follow Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, and Jonathan Paley follow two top prospects, both from the humblest means and poised for big bonuses as they approach the big signing day set by MLB, which is July, 2nd following their 16th birthdays. The story is intelligently written and told clearly by narrator John Leguizamo and like Steve James' great documentary, "Pelotero" (ballplayer) follows intriguing personalities and goes to incredible and shocking places which no one could have anticipated. In an era when interest in the great sport seems to fading, "Pelotero" shows the fierce and sometimes unscrupulous determination of a culture motivated by poverty, which is roundly taken advantage of.