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Arts & Entertainment
TV Review: 'Edge of America' -- Indian basketball

"Many Americans might not realize that November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month; I say this because I had no idea. The executives at Showtime were aware, however, and chose to pay tribute with a two-hour original film tonight called "Edge of America," a treacly, unexamined look at race and will, at determination lost and regained; a film that might have come with the tag line " 'Hoosiers' - but on a reservation."

Like that 1986 film starring Gene Hackman, the Showtime movie puts a troubled man in charge of a losing high-school basketball team and peels away at him to reveal the buried warmth, the deep humanity and the commitment that motivate the players to greater heights of gamesmanship and self-understanding and lead them all the way to the state finals.

In this case, we have the element of fiery racial and cultural tension. The coach, Kenny Williams, is played by James McDaniel, formerly of "NYPD Blue." An African-American who grew up in Texas, where he was bused to a white school, Kenny once believed that the white man was his enemy, but eventually he concluded that enemies lurk everywhere. Kenny is angry. "

Get the Story:
Lessons in Life and Basketball, Now on a Reservation (The New York Times 11/21)

Related Story:
Local talent debuts on Showtime tonight (The Farmington Daily Times 11/21)

Relevant Links:
Edge of America -