So last night, a few of us at the APADRC went to go see the documentary “Linsanity”. Suffice it to say, if you are looking for a groundbreaking, innovative work of cinema, this documentary is not for you. But if you are looking for an uplifting, spiritual journey of one man persevering to follow his dreams, then this is definitely for you.
For me personally, few moments in my life filled me with as much joy and astonishment as watching Jeremy Lin’s story unfold before me. My fellow moviegoers from the APADRC can attest to this; they described me as having a smile affixed to my face like I had eaten the world’s sweetest dessert for the entire hour and a half. So sweet!
Those reading this are wondering how someone could derive so much joy from watching the story of some basketball players. And yes, I will concede there was a plethora of awe-inspiring, mouth-dropping in-game highlights (my personal favorites being the dunk on John Wall and the spin move against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers). Hey, it wouldn’t be a sports movie without some silky smooth moves.
Yet, this documentary is more than the sweet displays of athletic prowess. It would be a disservice to Jeremy to say this; he is more than a basketball machine composed of a collection of pump fakes and crossovers. We see not only his hard work, but the people that helped him along the way. We see him admitting the luck that factored into his opportunities and professing his gratefulness as well for everyone and everything that went into his success. Thus, we see that the person we know as Jeremy is more than just a basketball player.
We already knew, however, all of these things. Had the movie just focused on these aspects, it would have made for a dull affair. It is his moments of candor and vulnerability that make this film shine and develop Jeremy into a 3-dimensional human being. These moments such as when he admitted that he felt that racial discrimination prevented him from getting any offers to play at any big college basketball programs and that he wanted to quit professional basketball after his first NBA season create not a pristine idol of worship but rather a role model and it is in this capacity that Jeremy Lin is at his best.
For it is the role model that we all deep down want to relate and aspire to. This is because we do not want to become distant, deified figures but rather extraordinary human beings. We want people to understand and relate to us and vice versa. This is not possible however without seeing just the safe, positive things; we need to see the struggle, the ugly, and the imperfection of it all and no matter how extraordinary the human being, these things will always persist. And there is perhaps no one who embodies this better than Jeremy.
To put it simply, he is just Jeremy being Jeremy. And for those of you like me who want to see a person for what he or she is, then you should definitely go see this movie. I can’t guarantee that you will enjoy it as much as I did or that you will enjoy it at all. What I can guarantee is that you will definitely understand this man for who he is. And isn’t that the point in the first place?
Written by APADRC CRS – Scott Hung