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Jiàoliàn [Coach]

Esteban Argüello
Jiang Xuan, Esteban Argüello

Jiàoliàn [Coach] is a feature length documentary about 27 year-old Norman de Silva who overnight was given the head coaching job of the Chinese Basketball Association’s (CBA) Foshan Long Lions. Every year the US outsources more and more low end manufacturing jobs to China,  but an area where China is turning the tables and outsourcing jobs from the U.S. is basketball. In a move to make the CBA games more exciting and to enhance the training and development of local players the CBA allows each team to contract up to two American players and an American coach. For Norman, China is an opportunity of a lifetime, but as he delves deeper into the lives of his players, he sees kids that have been put through exhausting and mundane daily routines for years to become model basketball players. In order to win, Norman has to help his players to fall in love with basketball again. Jiàoliàn [Coach] is a rare time-capsule of what it means to play basketball in China at a time where age-old eastern practices are clashing with new western methods.

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