Largely composed of immigrants and first-generation Canadians from Vancouver’s suburbs, The Notic underground basketball collective overcame all odds to achieve global fame 20 years ago. In defiance of their high school coaches’ casual racism and desire for oppressive conformity, this gregarious group discovered self-expression through streetball’s loose structure and aversion to rules. Bursting onto the scene at the NBA-sponsored Hoop It Up tournament near Science World, the group unleashed a devastating arsenal of bravura tricks and moves. DIY VHS highlights of their showstopping exploits would soon be collected on their first "mixtape." With copies finding their way to every corner of the globe, it was anointed "the bible of streetball."
Assemblers of that influential compilation (as well as its sequel), Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux and Kirk Thomas now chronicle the underdog group’s rise, fall, and rebirth in a riveting documentary that’s equally euphoric and cathartic. The archival footage remains as jaw-dropping as ever, but it’s the contemporary interviews that lend the film emotional resonance.