As part of their retrospective of Outstanding Achievement Award honoree Steve James, the 2016 Hot Docs festival screens No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson.
On February 13, 1993, 17-year-old Bethel High School basketball star Allen Iverson entered a Hampton, Virginia bowling alley with several classmates. It was supposed to be an ordinary evening, but it became a night that defined Iverson's young life: a quarrel soon erupted into a brawl pitting Iverson's young, black friends against a group of older white men. The fallout from the fight and the handling of the subsequent trial landed the nation's best high school athlete in jail and sharply divided the city along racial lines. Oscar nominee Steve James (Hoop Dreams) returns to his hometown of Hampton, where he once played basketball, to take a personal look at this still disputed incident and examine its impact on Iverson and the shared community.
“Commissioned by ESPN's highly regarded 30 for 30 series, James returns to his hometown of Hampton, Virginia, to revisit the trial of another Hampton native, NBA star Allen Iverson. In 1997, when Iverson was a rising high school basketball star, he became the focal point of a criminal trial that consumed their racially divided town. An incident at a local bowling alley escalated into a racial brawl. After the investigation, only four charges were laid, all against black teens. James investigates the trial and those involved, including lawyers, judges, activists and some of the accused. Despite Iverson's aversion to taking part in this film and some subjects' hesitation to dig up the past, James confronts the history of racial divisions in his hometown, asking "when it comes to our own complicated struggles with race and class, justice and injustice, retribution and redemption, what do we want our children to see?" The result is his most personal documentary to date.” Alexander Rogalski
Find out more at https://www.hotdocs.ca.