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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes people who give a damn to change this world. One person at a time., January 27, 2013
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This review is from: Undefeated (Amazon Video)
This movie is just great. It totally deserved the Oscar.

While the movie is presumably about high school football in an impoverished area of Memphis, it is really about the importance of fathers. None of the major players on the team have fathers in their lives. Neither did the coach when he was growing up, and his memories of the toll that took on him led him to become a stand-in father to the young men on his team.

He set high standards and gave the players the choice to live up to them or not, while constantly telling them they could, that they had everything in themselves to make good choices. He constantly talked about character, and the importance of having it. Through the games they played you could see this group of individuals become a team.

My favorite scene was the one where he talked to Chavez about the importance of talking things out with someone he thought wronged him. Throughout my life I've persuaded people who are upset with something someone else said or did to just talk to the other person about it. In almost every case the upset person finds that the other person did not mean to hurt them. (I read a great short story in grade school where a girl overheard another girl say something mean, only to learn she'd been reading aloud from a book where the heroine had the same first name.)

This movie is also very depressing in a way because the teenagers in this high school have not received an education though they have spent years in school. One promising athlete struggles to get a high enough score on his ACT's to qualify for college entrance, and one of the high school administrators admits the student had been promoted just because of his size. And this young man was smart, fully capable of learning and eager to do it.

The coach offered a home to this player so he could have tutors (tutors would not go to the part of town where the player lived with his grandmother). I'd just read an article in the newspaper about how common this is throughout sports. The movie addresses the "unfairness" of this favoritism as a black administrator points out anyone with talent can and should be encouraged by adults, whether that be a football coach or a music teacher.

Another person paid for a player to go to college because the young man showed such strength of character. This unnamed benefactor never even met the young man, just heard about him from one of the assistant coaches.

It takes people who give a damn to change this world. One person at a time. If every person who watches this movie makes a difference in one other person's life, what a great world this would be.
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Location: Costa Mesa, CA United States

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