In the Game

This Kartemquin Films documentary looks at a public high school on Chicago’s southwest side for a few years before and after Rahm Emanuel’s sweeping budget cuts to the city’s school system. Director Maria Finitzo focuses on the girls’ soccer team—specifically a few star players and the benevolent, paternal coach—but this doesn’t feel like a sports movie so much as a lament for America’s beleaguered working class. The coach teaches the girls valuable lessons about hard work and self-discipline, and the players Finitzo follows grow as individuals, but once they graduate, they find it nearly impossible to stay above the poverty line, let alone pay for college. This inspires warm admiration for the subjects while stirring up rousing anger at our city’s social inequality—Kartemquin at its best.