Goliath (Documentary)

Goliath (Documentary)

PARIS-MOVE, August 30th 2023 – Goliath (Documentary) – Directed by Rob Ford & Christopher Dillon.

“Goliath” is a three-episode series dedicated to the life of the basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, whose story is intertwined with the history of American civil rights. He revolutionized basketball by shattering all possible records. There’s no need to say too much here, as the main goal is to encourage you to watch this mini-series. It’s a blend of archival footage, interviews, and shadow animation that occasionally intensifies the drama, set against a backdrop of jazz music. This curiosity achieves its purpose as a historical document that can appeal to everyone, thanks to its fast-paced editing.

Nothing is redundant in this documentary, which you can watch on Paramount Plus or Showtime. But this mini-series stands out from the crowd in terms of technical execution and differs from other shows that often repeat from episode to episode. Here, we follow the journey of Wilt Chamberlain. Even people like me who aren’t interested in sports find themselves engrossed in this extraordinary man’s story.

Right from the beginning, the uniqueness of the character is highlighted – both in terms of his towering stature and his accomplishments. The series then delves into his childhood within the historical context. If you like basketball but are not familiar with Wilt’s story, you might want to read his biography HERE before watching the documentary. This explains the choice of the fast-paced editing style of this documentary, mirroring the rhythm of a basketball player’s dribble, always urgent. And it works wonderfully. It’s also intriguing to see all these passionate contributors, many of whom become voice-overs, providing context to archival images, photographs, or films, making the series exceptionally vibrant. Photographs and filmed documents are abundant, and you get swept up in a whirlwind, much like the whirlwind of Wilt Chamberlain’s life.

So, if you have a bit of time to dedicate to culture, you’ll come away with a wealth of knowledge about African American athletes. And who knows, maybe we’ll be treated to more documentaries series like this one, as Rob Ford & Christopher Dillon have successfully created a style that might leave a mark on a generation of documentary filmmakers. We’d love to see this directorial duo continue with a few more series on the topic of African American athletes.

Ilene’s notes:  Every 70s kid grew up in the shadow, so to speak, of Wilt Chamberlain.  So much more than a sports figure, he was a social phenomenon, as his appearance on Scooby Doo so aptly demonstrates.  That said, I realize now how little I knew about his history.  I don’t want to give too much away, but one of the most intriguing elements of his story happened in Lawrence, Kansas.  He definitely had a hand in making this very cool college town what it is today.  And his influence on a broader spectrum of American cultures goes far beyond the wide, wide world of sports.

I can’t say I’m the world’s biggest basketball fan, but I did see Tony Parker play for Paris back in the day, so I might be a little more of a fan than Thierry.  But being far from an expert on the subject, I can agree that this documentary is fascinating, even for those of us you couldn’t call sports aficionados.  The only danger is that you may end up both a fan of Wilt AND basketball.

Full disclosure:  Christopher Dillon is my brother-in-law, and a wonderful person.  His other documentary work includes 5B and The Lincoln Project.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

Ilene Martinez
CEO Bayou Blue Radio


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