Watch A Most Beautiful Thing
- 1 hr 35 min
A Most Beautiful Thing is a 2020 documentary film based on the autobiography of Arshay Cooper, a former juvenile delinquent who finds his purpose in life through rowing. The documentary is directed by Mary Mazzio and produced by Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade, the latter of whom makes a brief appearance in the film. The movie follows Arshay Cooper and his high school classmates from the West Side of Chicago as they form the first African American high school rowing team in 1998. Despite the ridicule and skepticism they face from their peers and even their own school administration, they persevere and eventually become national champions. The documentary is a mixture of interviews with the rowers, footage of their training and races, and reenactments of Cooperâs troubled upbringing. The reenactments are especially effective in providing context for Cooperâs journey and highlighting the systemic issues that he and his teammates faced growing up on the West Side of Chicago. One of the strengths of the documentary is its focus on the personal stories of the rowers. Each of the team members is given ample screen time to share their experiences and the impact that rowing had on their lives. Common, who serves as the filmâs narrator, also provides commentary on the cultural significance of the teamâs accomplishments. Another highlight of the film is its emphasis on the transformative power of sports. The rowing teamâs success is not just about winning races, but about the positive impact it had on the rowersâ lives both on and off the water. For Cooper, rowing provided a way out of a cycle of violence and poverty and allowed him to discover his own potential. A Most Beautiful Thing also touches on themes of racism and inequality in America. The rowing teamâs success is all the more remarkable given the barriers they had to overcome. The film does not shy away from the difficult realities of life on the West Side of Chicago, but it also celebrates the resilience and perseverance of the rowers and their community. Overall, A Most Beautiful Thing is an inspiring and thought-provoking documentary that showcases the triumph of the human spirit. It is a testament to the power of sports as a force for positive change, and a reminder that our differences can be a source of strength rather than division. Whether you are a fan of sports documentaries or just looking for a feel-good story, A Most Beautiful Thing is well worth checking out. The filmâs message of hope and perseverance is especially timely given the current state of the world, and serves as a reminder of the power of the human spirit to overcome even the most difficult of circumstances.