Anxious moviegoers packed not one, but two street corners waiting for the long, anticipated Boston debut of the documentary, “Push: Madison versus Madison” at the Somerville Theater Saturday night.
The documentary, directed by Rudy Hypolite, captured the 2007 Madison Park basketball season as coach Dennis Wilson and the Cardinals chased a state championship while battling the interior problems of living in the inner city.
“To have a packed theater like we had and to see the reaction of the crowd, that gave me a thrill,” Wilson said. “Seeing everybody on the edge of their seats like they don’t want to blink, that was special. It means all the hard work we put into it paid off.”
Raheem “Radio” Singleton, an instrumental player from the 2007 team was in attendance for the showing, as well as teammates Jakeen Cobb and David Daniels, who both played active roles in the film.
“After you see it on the big screen, it was so powerful just to look back and see how far I’ve come since then,” Singleton said, who is now the starting point guard at the University of Maine. “It molded me into who I am today.”
The documentary strongly focuses on the breakdown between the chemistry of Singleton and teammate Malik Smith, who represented rivalry neighborhoods and tried to outshine each other.
Wilson and Hypolite hoped the documentary would send a message to struggling children growing up in inner city environments, preaching that they can overcome adversity and succeed.
“Coach Wilson always told us, ‘Stay humble, stay hungry, stay focused,’” Singleton said. “Just because of the unfortunate situations all in my life, I’m not going to take the situation and feel sorry for myself. You need to move on and improve to prevent those situations.”
After successful showings at the Cinequest Film Festival and the Boston Independent Film Festival, Wilson and Hypolite will continue to promote the film on the independent circuit.
The documentary will next appear in the International Film Festival of Roxbury in July. For more information, visit pushmadison.com.
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