Coming to DVD and VOD from director Stephanie Johnes and Double Time Films comes a look at child play gone total sport with DOUBLETIME.
This film gets into the nitty-gritty of jump roping. Most of us think of it as something we once did as a kid during recess, well this recess activity has gone uber-global! Double Dutch is mostly known as it came to America via Dutch settlers and in the early 80’s it was still street play, as electronics hadn’t totally taken over our lives.
Now jump roping has become a competitive sport that is evolving. With both boys and girls this once simple activity has added aerobics, speed and competition. Director Johnes follows two teams who are deep in competition.
First, The Bouncing Bulldogs, a team from Chapel Hill, North Carolina that are a mainly white, middle class group of kids. Then there is The Double Dutch Forces from Columbia, North Carolina, which is mainly an African American group of kids who are from the inner city.
Both teams have been asked to perform at the Apollo Theater in the Holiday Classic and they must learn what it takes to be with the best in the world. They are competing with a blend of hip-hop and music they call fusion that can only take one to the top.
FINAL WORD: DOUBLETIME is an amazing look at the competitive world of jump roping. The Bouncing Bulldogs are a charming group of kids who walk into the Apollo Theatre with their heads held high. As much as some might see color, these kids only see competitors that are there to learn and enjoy what they are doing.
The Double Dutch Forces are filled with some amazing kids who are so powerful in their skills, hope for the future and loyalty to their team. The viewer will easily find themselves laughing and rooting for these kids without realizing they are doing it. Everyone has input and they never forget to laugh once in a while which means they are truly having fun.
Both coaches should be so proud of themselves for bringing the kids as far as they have. Each believed that their kids had the talent and ability to do what they love to do, still taking it to a level I don’t think even they saw coming.
DOUBLETIME has brought in some amazing awards from the Seattle Film Festival for Best Documentary, the Crystal Heart Award from the Heartland Film Festival, Best Documentary Nominee from SXSW Film Festival, Audience Award Finalist from the Tribeca Film Festival and Best Documentary Nominee from the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
What made Johnes come up with the idea for this documentary? While doing a fellowship at the University of Northern California for Journalism and Communication she says, “I was surprised to discover that I was living in a town that was home to national jump rope champions. Jump Roping is a great subject for a documentary because you truly have to see it to believe it. After telling friends about the project, they would inevitably ask, “So, are the kids on the team black or white?” I realized that within the same sport, there are two different leagues: one white, the other black. I decided to document these disparate worlds and had no idea that the two teams would ever meet.”
Director Johnes then teamed up with sister Alexandra. Her work includes CASINO JACK AND THE UNITED STATES OF MONEY and CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER, both are amazing documentaries!
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DOUBLETIME three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This truly is an interesting look at what was once a simple game on the recess blacktop. The dedication and belief the coaches have in their students is clear which leads to wanting only the best for the kids. It is also amazing to see that the amazing competition brings jumpers from as far away as Japan!
Watching their ability to perform comes from the amazing dedication and creativity to put their best foot jumping and bring wild applause from the audiences who watch them. There style and pure speed is intense and I can honestly say – this sure isn’t child’s play!
Added to the film is a pretty cool soundtrack that include Keyshia Cole, Petey Pablo, MIA, Petger Miser and The Caesars.
In the end – jumping rope has moved off the sidewalks and onto the stage!