Category Archives: Sports

“Sugar” – on the path of baseball players from the Dominican Republic to Iowa single A ball

A trailer:

Mark Starr's review on GlobalPost of the new movie Sugar:

A fine start, though, is the new movie “Sugar” — a bittersweet look
at the familiar baseball dream through Dominican eyes. The Dominican
Republic has, in recent years, been Major League baseball’s mother
lode. And to the young Dominicans, of course, America is the mother
lode. Boys on the island dream of getting out and — just like Pedro
Martinez or Albert Pujols or “Big Papi” David Ortiz — making it to the
bigs and to its cathedral, Yankee Stadium. Or if not all the way, at
least far enough along baseball’s highway to afford a new home for mom. 

Variety reviewed it during Sundance

With a gently observant eye more on the lookout for revelatory
cultural detail and emotional truth than for melodramatic excitement, "Sugar" intriguingly
draws the curtain back on the seldom considered world of Dominican
baseball players trying to make it in the United States. Sympathetic,
genial and exceedingly wholesome, it's a film that, once seen, will
permanently and favorably influence the way viewers regard the
characters' real-life counterparts. HBO Films offering will be well
received wherever it plays, notably in Latin America; expansion beyond
highly specialized situations in Stateside theatrical release would be
daunting.

Sugar was shot in Iowa, where the lead character Azucar settles to play single-A ball.  From the Screenwriting from Iowa blog:

The filmmakers of Sugar
shot much of the film in Davenport, Iowa and the surrounding Quad
Cities and were one of the first to take advantage of recent tax
incentives for filmmakers who spend over $100,000 in the state.

Earlier this month Iowa
Governor Chet Culver in speaking about Iowa’s commitment to helping
filmmakers said, “Iowa has a lot to offer the film industry and, quite
frankly, we want more movies filmed in our state. As a television or
motion picture producer with the greatest of expectations, in Iowa, you
can find it all. The new film tax credit and training award send a
clear signal to Hollywood: Iowa is camera-ready and open for business.”

Thanks to Debbie Sobeloff for the heads up about this, who liked it when she saw it in DC because it "treated all of the characters with dignity".  I don't know of any local Ann Arbor show times (not that I ever get out to the movies….)