For the men of the Graveyard, the battles waged on the pickup basketball court tell only half the story. It’s their off-court struggles and triumphs that reveal their truest selves. This thought-provoking documentary illuminates the unique culture and deep bonds forged on the court and beyond, painting an unforgettable urban portrait of brotherhood, community and the powerful and personal stories hidden within each of us. This uplifting film will challenge what you think you know about the men behind the chain link fence.


“Ballin’ at the Graveyard” is about five basketball players and their battles on and off the court. The language is rough and nobody shies away from their realities. However, any sense of hope is permeated by the fact that all of this is fleeting. While you could say that it is uplifting, that undercurrent is so strong that it kept me wondering when the other shoe was going to drop. I don’t like that lack of safety in documentaries.

Documentaries about basketball always live in the shadow of “Hoop Dreams”. The trash talk is amazing, as there is a never-ending push to show that the world of amateur athletes doesn’t let up. The trash talk is thick and everyone feels that they have to be heard. The social cues and personal insights makes the film into something personal. As such, I appreciate the movie doesn’t look polished and has a clean soundtrack. I wanted an authentic document about what it takes to be an athlete when all you have is dreams. Top notch work all around.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is workable for a documentary. The transfer is rather flat for what it is. The same goes for the Dolby 2.0 stereo surround track. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 10/14/2014

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