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Elevate

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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$19.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

At SEEDS Academy in Dakar, Senegal, the best and tallest young basketball players from across West Africa are hand-picked to take part in a strenuous program of academics and athletic training. For these seven-foot-tall sixteen-year-olds, the rewards can be huge. Full scholarships to the top US prep schools will pave the way to college and open the door to basketball at the NCAA level, where the right combination of skill and dedication will not only earn them a great education, but even a shot at the NBA.

Filmed over four years, ELEVATE follows the high-stakes journey of four young men across two continents, documenting the daunting challenges that come with being a stranger in a very foreign place. From mastering English, dating and drivers' ed to navigating the vagaries that come with being a seven-foot-tall Muslim at a Christian high school, ELEVATE challenges the conventional conceptions of Africa, America and athletes while documenting the extraordinary personal journeys of four teens with big hearts, open minds and very tall dreams.

Bonus Feature: Theatrical Trailer


Product Details

  • Actors: Amadou Gallo Fall
  • Directors: Anne Buford
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005TZFZMY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,188 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 31, 2012
Format: DVD
When it comes to sports related documentaries, the gold standard has got to be 1994's incredibly powerful "Hoop Dreams." Following two inner city Chicago kids for five years, the film saw the duo as they worked toward their goal of making it as professional basketball players. Sometimes harrowing, sometimes heartfelt--the film pushed past the subject of sport to be an important document about life in general. Following a similar template is Anne Buford's "Elevate." This earnest documentary features four ball players in Senegal who are fighting for a chance to get scholarships within the United States. Over the course of four years, we will see each as they venture into the American Prep School system in the hopes of qualifying for college sponsorship and NCAA competition. They have varying degrees of success, but the film is ultimately a testament to following your dreams (however impossible) and perseverance.

The movie introduces us to Amadou Gallo Fall, the founder of a unique basketball camp in West Africa that works with promising local talent in the hopes of placing them on a professional career path. The featured players include one who heads off to Lake Forest in Illinois, two that are picked up by South Kent School in Connecticut, and one whose path to America is more circuitous. The guys are just like any other teenaged boys that you're likely to encounter, each wanting to build a better life for their families back home. The challenges include integrating into a new culture, conquering language differences, incorporating their Muslim faith in a largely Christian environment as well as more ordinary pursuits like girls, homework, and loads of basketball practice. The footage in Senegal stands as a striking contrast to what the guys are exposed to in the States.
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Format: DVD
A scout for the Dallas Mavericks runs a feeder-school in Senegal in an effort to locate physical talent to send to the United States with the ultimate goal of players going into the NBA, Shows the culture (poverty) and their hopes to get to the United States. Once there they play at private schools and get looked at by college coaches. Insightful, some elements of faith. Some sub-title.
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What an inspiring and moving documentary. I was moved by the journey that the 4 young men embarked on. They all had a dream and used their ability and hard work to achieve the impossible. Very moving, I would highly recommend this documentary to basketball fanatics, sports enthusiasts and EVERYONE who has ever dreamed of a better life. My husband is a teacher/coach and shows this film to many of his students and athletes, what a message it sends!! I appreciate the hard work and incredible dedication the film represents. The film is a testament that nothing is impossible, dream big - work hard and never quit! Love it!
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Format: DVD
I watched the movie and memorized by the talent recruited from Africa to American Universities. America is great because it attracts the greatest minds and talent in the world. Talent is what we want. There seems to be a wide range of other venues that could attract talent, bring it.
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Format: DVD
Nice directing, script and cinematography showing a selected part of everyday life in Senegal. Whether the conditions are worse than was shown was never discussed and so it's hard to tell from the movie how stable the country is politically and economically. The storyline is essentially the final process of selecting basketball youth with some potential to warrant playing at some higher level. We follow a few players as they travel to the US for high school and hopefully collegiate offers.

The negatives that I noticed are:
(1.) We don't see or is it discussed what percentage of those who devout themselves to the dream actually succeed. What happens with failure.
(2.) We don't see if the middle men receive compensation that might be either ethical or rules violations.
(3.) We don't see how private high schools in the US take advantage of and make money off exchange students. One example, there's a private school in the Seattle area that circumvents the one year visa rules by longterm, years of high school boarding which then gives those students unhindered access to US universities and afterwards automatic US residency. The school's owners are exceedingly wealthy as a result of what they charge the parents of those financially privileged students.
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