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Edge of America
Edge of America
Actors: James McDaniel, Tim Daly
Genres: Drama, Television, Sports, African American Cinema
NR     2006     1hr 46min

From acclaimed director, Chris Eyre, whom People Magazine calls "?the preeminent Native American filmmaker of his time" comes this touching and inspirational story about loyalty, friendship and courage. New man in town Ken...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James McDaniel, Tim Daly
Genres: Drama, Television, Sports, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television, Basketball, African American Cinema
Studio: Showtime Ent.
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/28/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Robert M. from DURAND, IL
Reviewed on 11/22/2013...
It was a good sports movie
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kathleen B. from PACIFIC GROVE, CA
Reviewed on 12/24/2011...
I don't like showing my middle school students movies that don't shake up their understanding of the world a bit. A few years ago I rented this film for that purpose after a good receommendation, and showed it to what proved to be a very enthusiastic class. Through swapadvd this year I got my own copy and showed it three different middle school classes. All loved it, and several asked how they could get it themselves.

The theme of "Edge of America" is very unusual, and has taken my students (and me) outside of usual zones of understanding while addressing real world issues of equality, patience, vision..

Besides, it features girl athletes, which always goes over well with both genders at that age.

Highly recommended!

Movie Reviews

A Low Key But Powerful Treat
John Capute | Atlanta, GA USA | 04/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this film on cable on a weekday afternoon, one of those films you will probably not catch otherwise: quirky subject, no big stars, no budget. The plot sounded interesting: black coach, played by the always solid James McDaniel (rarely seen, at least by me, since he left NYPD Blue), coaching a girls basketball team on a reservation. This could be gritty and important, I thought--or sappy and predicatable, another cliched tale of the underdog winning the big game. Pretty quickly it became clear that this was a gritty and realistic film. The coach is a complicated character, not always likeable, occassionally downright awful. The girls are equally realistically drawn. The conflicts we know to be present on Indian reservations around the country are not hidden: unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, bitterness, etc. Sound grim? Somehow this tiny film finds a way to present what could a grim, downbeat story as dramatic, moving, and even funny. Only later did I discover the director is Chris Eyre, a filmmaker with real and obvious talent (see Skins and Smoke Signals). So that this movie made us believe in the reality and humanity of its mostly Native characters is no surprise. This is not a perfect movie by any means. The rival school and its all blonde basketball team and obnoxious coach are cliched. More backround on McDanial's character would have helped. But given that, this is actually a stirring, moving film, an unlikely combination of Eyre's earlier Skins and Hoosiers. You end up caring deeply about these girls and their lives. The basketball scenes are exciting. (I won't give away the ending...just to say the girls indeed overcome many obstacles to go to the state championship). McDaniel is indeed interesting and believable as always (know him only from Blue? Check him out in Spike Lee's Malcom X). Wes Studi is equally interesting and believable. Heck, the whole cast is interesting and believable. This will literally make you laugh and make you cry, and the movie earns both emotions legitimately. Check it out."
Great film for everyone!
Don D. Basina | Milwaukee, Wisconsin | 03/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Chris Eyre (Director Smoke Signals, Skins) dribbles us onto the hard court of Three Nations woman's Basketball. Kenny Williams (James McDaniel) is running from his past. He takes an English teaching position on the Three Nations Reservation in Utah. Unbeknownst to school administrators he is black man. This puts him as a mark for the native students.

Kenny needs some additional income so he thinks of coaching the dismal O'fer Lady Warrior's basketball team. The interim coach Annie (Irene Bedard) is more of a mother than a coach. The local do-it-all Cuch (Wes Studi) convinces Kenny to coach the woman's basketball team. Coach Williams soon learns that he is fighting an uphill battle with teamwork and Native family traditions especially Mother Tsosie. (Geraldine Keams)

I absolutely adored this film and totally related to this film. The woman's balling at my old all Native high school was just as competitive with the more expensed mostly white high schools. The gym, attendance and excitement took me back to the days of playing ball for the love of it and close-knit teammates.

I try not to be a nit pick on an overall good film, but the film started off with some shaky camera angles following Kenny to the Three Nations reservation. (Personal preference) It was probably due to the handheld cameras. After a few minutes it disappeared. Filming the basketball action was comparable to other basketball films that I have seen. But I wished I would have seen the free throws.

Carla (Delanni Studi), Shirleen (Misty Upham) and Marissa (Deanna Allison) are some of the talented actresses that make up the basketball team. Leroy McKinney (Tim Daly/Producer) is the father of Carla who struggles with the loss of his wife. And the angry, outspoken Franklin (Eddie Spears) is Carla's boyfriend plays his character outstanding. This film contains a lot of talented Native actors who are now more popular since filming.

This film was filmed in 2002 for Showtime. Maybe it's just me but these films need to get released to the general public faster. Though, money is always at the root of the problem. I have to give kudos to Annie Humphrey's songs that fit perfectly for this film.

Purchase this DVD for the entire family. There are not many extras on the DVD, but there is a filmography for the main actors.

Racism in Reverse
Artist & Author | Near Mt. Baker, WA | 07/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The interesting aspect of this movie to me was the subtle racism between the Indians and the black teacher/coach, Kenny. Underlying it all, both sides really just wanted to be treated for themselves, but both sides had experienced racism toward their race or culture so they behaved as if they expected it. Kenny was used to being treated as a 'nigger' so he'd built up a shell that was difficult for the girls to penetrate. The Navajo girls also were used to being treated as 'mere Indians,' such as by the referees in their games, so they automatically felt like giving up. It was by talking out their feelings, openly and honestly, that both the coach and the team players were able to grow into more mature, successful people. Both sides made mistakes, but they seemed to learn from them with some pain ways to overcome their unconscious negative expectations. This is a a wonderful area of discussion for families; Everyone knows that they are not supposed to be 'racist' against others; but how does unconsciously expecting to be treated in a racist manner alter one's own perception of the world? How might that affect one's chances of becoming successful in their life?"