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Parents' Guide to

Hood River

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Stirring sports doc about leadership, empathy; some cursing.

Movie NR 2021 81 minutes
Hood River Poster Image

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This heartfelt documentary shows why sports stories, particularly high school sports stories, are always fountains of life lessons for viewers of all ages. In Steven Cantor and Jonathan Field's documentary, which was filmed during the Eagles' 2018 season, viewers don't just learn the fundamentals of the game, they also learn how to apply the tenets of teamwork, perseverance, and communication to solve bigger issues. The film's core revolves around how this small Oregon town deals with a society that's divided by both race and class. For a while, those divides extend to the soccer field. Team co-captain Eric realizes something that not even a lot of adults realize: It takes empathy to be an effective leader of a diverse team. Eric might be a high school senior, but he shows a willingness to learn and grow into a more conscientious global citizen. This includes taking advice from some of his Latino teammates (Eric himself is White) and from his Latino co-captain, Saul, on how to reach the rest of the team, particularly Domingo, a talented player who's suffering after his dad's deportation. Together, Eric and his teammates rally around Domingo and provide him with new gear as well as a renewed commitment to friendship and camaraderie.

And that isn't the only time that the teens display maturity beyond their years. Their coach, Coach Riviera, has a large hand in helping them learn about responsibility and guiding them through school. Riviera takes Domingo in particular under his wing, helping the teen with his homework to keep him on track to graduate. But, really, the kids come into their emotional growth on their own, showing just how mature, open-minded, and accepting younger generations are becoming. Many underestimate Generation Z, but Hood River proves that if these kids can learn how to get along with each other and set an example for others, then perhaps adults are the ones who need to grow up.

Movie Details

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