Boy Cheerleaders (UK, BBC)
Directed by James Newton; edited by Steve Barclay.
On a South Leeds estate in the heart of Rugby League territory, a group of nine young boys are preparing for competition. But they are not taking on Bradford Northern or Hull Kingston Rovers. This is a documentary about Britain’s leading all-boys cheerleading team – the DAZL Diamonds and their coach Ian Rodley.
Director James Newton follows the team and their families as the boys fluff up their pom poms and prepare for the National Championships in Coventry, where they hope to be the first boys team to lift the trophy – a win which could change their lives forever.
“You might make all sorts of assumptions about the sorts of boys who’d join a cheerleading team, especially if it was the country’s only boys’ cheerleading team but this clever, compassionate film blasted many of them to bits.” Matt Baylis, The Daily Express
“For all the boys’ exuberance – and their third place gained at the UK championships – it was a melancholy tale. You could see the hope – not of further dancing success, but of more distant, unarticulated dreams. If there’s anything more guileless than a prepubescent boy in front of the camera, I really don’t want to see it. It’s beautiful and it tends to break your heart.” Lucy Mangan, The Guardian
If those who proselytise on behalf of the Big Society have slightest bit of common sense, they will ring the BBC this morning, order several thousand copies of last night film Boy Cheerleaders and post them to every sceptic of plans for the regeneration of civic society with whom they are familiar. James Newton’s superb and compelling documentary. Amol Rajan The Independent