A SLAM DUNK FOR HOOP FANS
While life as we once knew it is making a comeback, for me, a sense of a return to normalcy definitely meant going back to a movie theater. But I must confess that I didn’t mind watching films at home over the last two years. There is a sense of comfort with that experience, but some movies just need to be seen on the big screen.
Now, with basketball season starting to really hea up comes a hoops film meant to be seen at home, on your screen, just like when you watch the big game.
Alaskan Nets is an award-winning documentary film that follows a year in the life of a small high school basketball team. Off the coast of Southeast Alaska lies an island — remote, largely hidden from the outside world and home to the Tsimshian natives of Alaska's last remaining native reserve: Metlakatla. For more than a century, two sacred traditions have defined Metlakatla: fishing and basketball.
Watch the improbable journey of cousins Danny Marsden and DJ King, fishermen and stars of the 2018 high school basketball team, as they lead their team and town toward their first state championship in more than 30 years – the only thing that will bring life back to an island that has undergone unimaginable tragedy.
“The first time I set foot in Metlakatla, Alaska I realized that it was a special place with a fascinating group of people that would make for a really, really incredible story,” said Alaskan Nets director Jeff Harasimowicz. “I knew I had to make this film, but I was daunted by just how costly an eighteen-month production would be. Flying a production team back and forth between the lower 48 and Alaska, in addition to all the travel we would be doing with the basketball team throughout Alaska, was enough to make me question whether the project could even be executed.”
Alaska Nets is reminiscent to Friday Night Lights, which is based on a true story, but it comes across as more unfiltered since it’s a documentary and not a theatrical release. You get to know the team and you root for them as they face all sorts of challenges.
Celebrity Chris Pratt of Guardians of the Galaxy fame serves as one of the film’s producers so hopefully this will get the basketball doc some extra attention.
Shot before the pandemic, it’s nice to see life before masks and worries about Coronavirus. But sadly, in 2021, two team players, brothers actually, were involved in an awful tragedy as then 18-year old Isacc Henderson shot and killed his older brother Tyler Henderson—a team standout. This really is looking at life during a special time and place before the world turned upside down.
So, while the Lakers and Clippers disappointed on the court this year, get to know the Chiefs basketball team and cheer them on as they try to make their hoop dreams come true.
Alaskan Nets is set for digital and VOD release on April 8.
Review By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Alaskan Nets