The 1961 state football championship game between rivals Miami High and Miami Edison is chronicled in pioneering director James Lipscomb's engrossing documentary. Much like when he documented John F. Kennedy's run for the White House in his critically acclaimed and candid film Primary, Lipscomb was given a rare, all-access look into both schools as they prepare for the big game, which was played in the Orange Bowl.
The film unapologetically delves into the brutal reality of high school football, where young men were forced to carry the burden of winning on their young, impressionable shoulders. There are depictions of players getting severely injured but being forced back into practice anyway.
There are also scenes where the players receive an earful from a
hard-driving coach about how this game would cement their legacies as
winners or losers for the rest of their lives. Not much has changed in
the ultracompetitive world of South Florida high school football since
1961 (save for the fact that schools are integrated now). However,
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Mooney vs. Fowle is a captivating time capsule, showing a bygone era in
Miami's rich history. March 9 at 7 p.m., Bill Cosford Cinema (1111
Memorial Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-4861; cosfordcinema.com).