Undefeated (12A)

 

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The Independent Culture

You don't have to know or care much about the sport to be touched by this documentary on the travails of a Tennessee high-school (American) football team.

If it were drama there would be much air-punching triumphalism. Instead, we get a quiet study in selflessness, personified by volunteer coach Bill Courtney. A family man with a business in hardwood, Courtney spent six and a half years training the Manassas school team, most of them from deprived backgrounds and well aware of the school's long history of failure. With heroic patience and humour he instills into the boys as much character, discipline and teamwork as one man can. Film-makers Dan Lindsay and T J Martin don't stray far from the formula of sports docs, but in Courtney's inspirational father-figure they know they're on to a winner.

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