Posted by paulrivas on:
The Other Dream Team is the story of the Lithuanian basketball team that won the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. The whole story, from the Russian invasion of Lithuania in 1939 to the 2001 NBA draft, when a Lithuanian was picked fifth. Written by first-generation Lithuanian-American director Marius Markevicius (pictured), funded by Sarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis, it came out last week and is already one of the greatest sports movies of all-time.
When Russia beat a loaded USA team for the gold medal in 1988, four of the five starters were from Lithuania, which used to be a whole other country. The USSR only paid its players $100/month, but the Lithuanians were so valuable that the KGB looked the other way while they supplemented their income by buying free-world goods while traveling to play abroad and selling them for three times as much back in the USSR.
By the Barcelona Olympics, Lithuania had emerged from a January 1991 revolution to field its own basketball team, but was bankrupt. Enter The Grateful Dead, who sponsored the team and kitted them out in tie-dyed dunking skeleton t-shirts (pictured) that made them cultural icons when they wore them while accepting their bronze medal after losing big to the Dream Team in the semifinals but beating the Russian unified team in the third-place game.
The Other Dream Team tells the most epic sports story that nobody remembers, with archival footage that nobody’s ever seen, some of which was only difficultly obtained through bribery. There’s even video of the 1991 Soviet atrocities that could have been shot on some of the same camcorders the Lithuanian players had smuggled in to feed their families when their nation was still under Soviet rule.
The Other Dream Team will soon be recognized as one of the best sports movies of all-time. Don’t let it be the best one you’ve never seen. Go see it at the Metro IV today at 1:40 or tomorrow at 4:20. If you skip the Super Bowl for it, you’ll feel like a genius.