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Rating: Not Rated
Extended Interviews with Sebastian Telfair, Rick Pitino and Other Key Figures
Exclusive Telfair NYC Playground and Game Highlights
Q&A Footage From the Tribeca Film Festival
“What is it like to be a high school senior on the verge of going pro? Experience a riveting documentary that chronicles the riches-or-ruin gambles of one of basketball’s fastest rising stars. Since the age of nine, Sebastian Telfair has been a legend on the streets of New York. Under the watchful eye of his older brother, a former collegiate star whose failed bid to reach the NBA left their mother heartbroken and the family mired in poverty, Sebastian refines his game, hones his image, and risks everything in the hopes of providing a better life for his family and realizing his dream of playing professional ball. ESPN’s critically acclaimed documentary captures all the action, emotion, and excitement of an amazing year in he life of Coney Island’s hoop prodigy. You won’t want to miss a minute of Sebastian Telfair’s astonishing jump from local neighborhood phenom to first-round draft pick.”
Through the Fire: Director’s Cut – Extended And Uncensored is not rated.
I was really struck by the decision Telfair had to make in the film. Does he take the traditional route of being seasoned in college basketball first or does he jump right into the deep end with the NBA? On the one hand, the documentary does a good job making you understand why he’d want to go into the NBA. He lives in a very poor part of Coney Island. He wants to provide for his mother and family. His brother tried and failed to get into the NBA, so he realized how quickly the dream can be snatched away. So it’s very easy to see why he’d want to do this.
However, the documentary is equally good at showing how it could be a bad decision. While training with his older brother in Greece, he’s knocked around and shown he doesn’t know how to play professionally yet. Telfair also starts raking in money from endorsements. Rather than investing it and making wise financial decisions, he starts buying Rolexes, expensive cars for his family, and other extravagant purchases. You quickly realize he may not be mature enough to handle the responsibility.
Overall, Through the Fire is an excellent and timely sports documentary. You certainly get a peek at the drama behind the scenes of the NBA Draft. It also stands out as a great documentary depicting urban life and the trials facing people living there. Basketball fans will definitely want to check this out.
There’s a very good selection of bonus features here. There are deleted scenes, extended interviews from the people shown in the film, and more footage of Telfair’s high school basketball games. You’ll also find Q&A Footage From the Tribeca Film Festival and your standard Director’s Commentary.