Monday, May 19, 2014

Released October 4, 2013 (US); DVD Released January 7, 2014
1 hr 28 mins


Evan Jackson Leong

Review by Stephen M.

On Netflix currently is the documentary Linsanity.  The film covers the phenomenon of Jeremy Lin going from on the verge of being cut from his third team within two months to being a Knicks starting point guard producing at an All Star level.  What I like about the documentary is the way it covers not only that period of unbelievable awe but gives us a glimpse to Jeremy growing up and the struggles that he was facing leading up to that breakthrough.

In the documentary we get home footage of Jeremy as a youth growing up with his parents and his two brothers.  We learn that from an early age, the boys in the family were all about basketball growing up as their dad had a passion for the NBA.  We get to see Jeremy competing at the AAU tournaments as a Youth to his high school days in Palo Alto.  Besides home footage there are interviews with Jeremy and his various family members as well as agent and former coaches.

It's quite insightful to see how even before becoming a star for the New York Knicks in 2011-2012 the obstacles he faced as an Asian basketball player in a predominantly African-American sport.  We hear about how he was taunted by fans of Ivy League schools during his college days at Harvard about his ethnicity.  Of course it didn't stop there when he made it big in New York as the film discusses about how the media wasn't ready to handle his overnight catapult into the spotlight.  In the film he also talks about his faith a lot in how it helps him with his struggles.  Struggles of which he had a lot both with dealing with setbacks and the stress of his success.

Overall, I would highly recommend the film.  I would have loved to have heard more from his detractors in the film.  Especially if it could have included more interviews with his basketball peers, those both rooting for him and those that dismissed him.  Showing old game footage during that month when Lin was unstoppable is a nice trip down memory lane.  The film stops during the period that Lin becomes a free agent after his stint with the New York Knicks.


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