Most likely, you've already heard the buzz about "The Other Dream Team" -- a movie following the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team, led by former Portland Trail Blazers center Arvydas Sabonis. If not, this post will get you caught up.
Either way, good news: the film is set to screen in Portland starting on Friday.
First, here's the trailer.
Next, here's some background on the movie from the film's official website.
After leading the USSR to a gold medal (and victory over the U.S.A.) at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Sarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis were poster boys for their oppressor's sports machine. Four years later, after the fall of the Soviet Union, they emerged as symbols of democracy, helping their country break free from the shackles of Communism, and willing newly independent Lithuania to the medal stand at the Barcelona Olympics.
"The Other Dream Team" documents the Lithuanians' experiences behind the Iron Curtain, where elite athletes were subjected to brutalities of Communist rule. As they hid from KGB agents and feared for their lives, Lithuania's basketball stars always shared a common goal - to utilize their athletic gifts to help free their country.
The '92 Lithuanian team won fans around the world for its hard-nosed play, its underdog story and its unusual connection with the Grateful Dead. Inspired by the Lithuanian's message of freedom, the Dead provided financial assistance to the team and helped create their distinctive, tie-dye warm ups, which included a creative design from artist Greg Speirs.
In Barcelona, Lithuania advanced to the medal round, where the team faced Russia - Lithuania's oppressor since 1940 - for the bronze. Lithuania emerged victorious, and then rose to the medal stand wearing their colorful gear emblazoned with the memorable dunking skeleton logo. By beating Russia, David had beaten Goliath - and the Lithuanian team had raised the game of basketball into an unforgettable expression of political and cultural identity.
Finally, here's a quick note from Marius Markevicius, the film's Director / Producer.
I recently directed a documentary film titled, "The Other Dream Team" about the inspirational journey of the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team from behind the Iron Curtain to the Barcelona Olympics (all with a unique partnership with the Grateful Dead). Blazers legend Arvydas Sabonis is one of the main subjects of the film.
The film premieres in Portland this Friday, Nov. 9th at the Regal Fox Tower Stadium at 846 SW Park Ave. Tickets will be available on the theater's website starting Friday right here.
The film has a ton of never-seen-before footage of a young Arvydas Sabonis (before he came to the NBA) that I think Blazers fans will really enjoy. We appreciate any help in spreading the word about the film in the Portland area. Thank you for your support!
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-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter