By William Engel
“The Rebound” takes us through the lives of the Miami Heat Wheels, a wheelchair basketball team on the verge of going to the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) National Tournament. The film delves into the genesis of the league, the personal lives of several of the teammates, and what they have to go through in order to qualify for the nationals.
What “Perfect” did for synchronized swimming, “The Rebound” will do for wheelchair basketball. Anyone who sees it as a poor man’s sport will immediately recant their view once they see these athletes doing chin-ups with their wheelchairs still attached to their legs. And if that doesn’t convince you, the fast-paced game time montages definitely will, as they showcase just how aggressive and violent the sport can get; athletes regularly have their wheelchairs flipped over and have to pick themselves back up in under a second.
But “Rebound”, as its title would imply, is more broadly about rolling with the punches that life deals you and making the best of a bad situation. We learn that the players are wheelchair-bound through varying unlucky circumstances – one was born prematurely, while another was shot in a bad neighborhood.
This theme is also reflected in the narrative that follows the team as a whole. Upon making it to the NWBA National Tournament, the Heat Wheels lose their second game and have to fight their way through the loser’s bracket in order to earn their match with the San Antonio Parasport Spurs. The path these athletes follow isn’t always easy or gratifying – in fact, it seldom is – but they stay on it regardless, constantly making an effort to prove to the world that they’re not handicapped, but handicapable.
1h | Documentary, Sport |
Director: Shaina Koren Allen
Writers: Brian Gordon (narrative consultant), Marshall Davis Jones (story)