Lenny Cooke, the documentary debut from Josh and Benny Safdie (Daddy Longlegs) follows its eponymous subject from his position as highest ranked high school basketball player in the nation to his fall from grace and into relative obscurity. In this unflinching documentary, skillfully compiled of hours of footage of Cooke in his basketball playing heyday to current footage of his quiet life in Virginia, the Safdies weave together an incredibly moving story that is wholly true but features nearly operatic peaks and valleys. Cooke was once ranked higher than Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, and this film shows how chance and motivation brought his dreams crumbling down, and how he wants others to learn from his experience.
My full review will be posted after the film makes its world premiere at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival later this week, but I’ll just tease that it’s definitely something to seek out. And know absolutely nothing about basketball (or any sport, for that matter), so that says quite a lot.