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Hellfighters (2007)

Directed by Jon Frankel
Edited by Siobhan Dunne
Music by Elegant Too
Vocals by Marc Anthony Thompson
87 min.
In their third season, the Harlem Hellfighters try to prove that they deserve to become Harlem’s high school football team--providing a path to college and to maturity.

The Harlem Hellfighters, organized by Coach Duke, a former NFL player, is made up of young men who attend different high schools in Manhattan.

They have to struggle to obtain funding, to gain permission to play in the city league, to exist at all. Hellfighters demonstrates what football can mean in adolescent dreams and adult realities. The boys and their parents weep and laugh as the season unfolds
and their tough-talking, mysterious coach can only hope that his methods will compensate for mixed results.

Movie still from "Hellfighters'" a film by Jon Frankel
trailer 1:25 minutes
"absorbing and insightful"  New York Magazine

"The surest sign that Jon Frankel is making a serious film is in how he portrays the team's coach, Duke Fergerson... In Hollywood's version he would be an inspirational figure played by Denzel Washington, backed by a string orchestra. In this one, he is complex and mysterious. Inspirational, yes, but also occasionally irrational and irresponsible.”  Neil Best, New York Newsday