More than the other major leagues, the NBA as we know it today is known as ‘the black league.’ ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ is one of the recent documentaries that takes us back to the time when blacks weren’t allowed to play professional basketball. The story revolves around the Harlem Rens, a black owned, black coached team based out of Harlem that is (cleverly) marketed as ‘the best team that no one ever talks about’. With insight and perspective provided by former Rens players, opponents (such as future coaching legend John Wooden), and contemporaries, the story of the Rens is an insightful 75 minute film that speaks as much about the time they lived in as it does about the team itself. If you’re like me and have the preconception that there’s nothing negative to say about the Harlem Globetrotters (they were on Scooby Doo, how bad can they be?), this film provides an interesting perspective.
This film is on Netflix Instant, and as noted above, is about as short as a ‘feature length film’ can be.