THE OLDEST BASKETBALL TEAM IN THE WORLD (Sharon McGowan). 48 minutes. Screens as part of the Female Eye Film Festival, Sunday (March 30), 11 am, at Canada Square. Rating: NNN
This ain’t your grandma’s basketball team. But it could be.
Watching the women in The Oldest Basketball Team In The World running drills and hitting layups, I felt… lazy. And not a little pathetic.
This delightful doc follows the Retreads, a women’s basketball team from Vancouver and Calgary whose average age is 72. Many of them are former national team members and Hall of Famers. They sign up to compete in the World Masters Games in Edmonton, where they’re the only team to show up in their age category. So they promptly start kicking ass and taking names against players 10 to 20 years younger.
At 48 minutes, the movie’s a bit short. The buildup to the championship is too quick and therefore lacks some of the drama and suspense you look for in sports stories. And the videotape, fluorescent lighting and tiny crowds make this feel a little like local TV covering high school games.
But charming touches, such as the woman who keeps her nitroglycerine in her pocket, or the one who laments missing the last game as her shattered wrist is being wrapped, make up for the paucity of detail. Good luck in 2009, ladies.