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DIFF: Tuesday Picks
by Stephen Becker 5 Apr 2011

Today’s picks include a basketball documentary, a film made by a Dallas father-and-son team and the story of a Texas music legend.


Elevate – Each year, the NBA pipeline to Africa continues to produce more and more talent. That’s what Amadou Gallo Fall, a former Dallas Mavericks scout, thought when he started the SEEDS academy in Senegal. The academy plucks teenagers with potential and places them in U.S. high schools with the hopes that they will earn college scholarships and maybe (just maybe) make it to the NBA. Elevate follows four such players as they learn not only how to play the game, but how to navigate their new world in America. If you saw 2006’s God Grew Tired of Us, Elevate’s fish-out-of water story will seem familiar, though it swaps Senegalese boys for the earlier film’s Sudanese crew. The major difference – and maybe the most eye-opening element for American audiences – is that the boys in Elevate recognize the opportunity that American provides, but as they’ll tell you over and over through the film, Senegal is still “paradise.” The film is directed by Anne Buford, whose brother just happens to be R.C. Buford, the general manager of the San Antonio Spurs. But don’t let that keep you from seeing it. (7 p.m. Magnolia)

Blood of Eagles – This film follows a band of guerillas fighting during Indonesia’s 1947 war of independence against The Netherlands. It should serve as a good primer on Indonesian history, and you might be surprised to learn that it was actually made by the Dallas father-and-son team of Rob and Conor Allyn. (7 p.m., Angelika)

OK Buckaroos – If you’ve ever closed down a honky tonk, you’ve heard Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother.” That song, as well as other favorites like “Mr. Bojangles,” has kept the Texas music legend busy for more than 40 years now. OK Buckaroos follows Walker’s career on stages big and small, with an occasional pit stop to chat with some of his famous friends, including Jimmy Buffet and Kris Kristofferson. I’ll be at tonight’s screening, which is supposed to include an appearance from the man himself. More on that tomorrow. (7:30 p.m., Magnolia)