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Review: Undefeated

Reflections on race and opportunity
By TOM MEEK  |  March 15, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

Dan Lindsay and T. J. Martin's Oscar-winning documentary about an underequipped high-school football team competing against big-time programs across Tennessee offers a potent contemplation on race and opportunity. It may call to mind The Blind Side or Remember the Titans, but there's no Hollywood glitz in the blighted burg of Manassas. At the center looms Bill Courtney, the white coach of an all-black team who is stark in appearance and sharp in word. Challenges abound. Manassas hasn't won a playoff game in its 110-year history, and Courtney, a volunteer, has a business to run and sons playing football at another school. Then there are the pitfalls of crime and poverty that threaten several star players. Lindsay and Martin capture it all quietly on the field and off and, in doing so, register the unsettling correlation of success and failure between the two.

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