CHICAGO (CBS) — We all remember the the riveting and raw 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams.”
It exposed the often gritty underbelly of Chicago high school basketball.
The latest from the Chicago-based project from filmmaker Steve James premieres Thursday night on National Geographic.
“City So Real” is a five-part docu-series debuting on National Geographic. It delves into the divisiveness that has engulfed Chicago. It begins in 2018 with the aftermath of the police killing of Laquan McDonald and concludes with the tumultuous summer of 2020, following George Floyd’s murder in the midst of the pandemic.
The picture of Chicago James tried to paint is an authentic one, according to the director.
“We wanted to give you a true portrait of this city, its neighborhoods, its people, what drives people and what infuriates people.”
What will people who are not from Chicago learn about the City of Big Shoulders by watching the docu-series?
“You will see the warts and all of politics in this city,” James said. “This city can be incredibly segregated and that’s unfortunate. But there is tremendous passion on the part of the people here. Not just love for their city, but a desire to make their city better.”
For “City So Real” the filmmaker said evolution between the beginning and the end was impacted by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
“I mean when we started out, of course, no one had in mind that there would ever be a pandemic or what happened with George Floyd,” James said. “What Chicago has been grappling with around issues of police, in relationships to police and violence, and racism is not front and center for the rest of America, in their own backyards. And it’s been in our backyards for a while. So I think in some ways we’re kind of a precursor for what America is now going through.”
All five episodes of ‘City So Real’ air Thursday night on the Nat Geo channel. It will be available on Hulu starting Friday.
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