McFarland film review | Book Addicts

McFarland (film)

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McFarland is a 2019 film about a white coach who ends up in a predominantly Hispanic town, one of the poorest towns in California.  He turns seven of his students into college athletes. 

10 out of 10 stars.  It should surprise no one that this is a Disney film.  But I was surprised that before yesterday I’d never even heard of it.

In 1987 football coach and high school science teacher Jim White is fired for accidentally injuring a student (the student’s fault).  He ends up in a tiny poor town in California where Hispanic almond picker families live.  These high school kids get up at 4:30 am, pick almonds, go to school at 8:30, get out of school at 3:00, go back to the fields to pick almonds, then go to practice at 7:00 pm.  They don’t complain.  This is their life.  For that they live in a small house with eight to sixteen family members.

After White comes to the school he quickly sees that these kids have talent.  Because they can’t afford cars or bicycles they run everywhere.  And they are gifted runners.  Never having been a runner, or a coach for runners, White creates a cross country running team and they make it to the first state championship and win.  That is no small feat.  It takes grit, determination, and a lot of hard work.

10 out of 10 stars.  On STARZ this month.  Watch it.  You’ll love it.


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