Hardwood (Hubert Davis) Rating: NNNN
When Hubert Davis set out to make a film about his father, former Harlem Globetrotter Mel "Trick" Davis, he didn't think he was going to turn the camera on himself and his own family history. The honest, moving result snagged him a nomination for an Academy Award.
Mel met Hubert's mother, Megan, a white woman from Vancouver, at a time when racism stymied interracial relationships. He later married Maryetta, a black woman from Chicago, but continued his relationship with Megan. Davis's exploration of his father's double life hits the sweet spot between raw candour and dignified restraint, and transforms what started out as an athletic biopic into a deep reflection on fatherhood and reconciliation.
And it's all skilfully bound together with the basketball metaphors that filter Mel's view of the world. (February 20, NFB Cinema, filmmaker in attendance.)