27 April 2014, 12:00:00 am
'9-Man' is an independent feature documentary about an isolated and exceptionally athletic Chinese-American sport that's much more than a pastime. Since the 1930s, young men have played this gritty streetball game competitively in the alleys and parking lots of Chinatown. At a time when anti-Chinese sentiment and laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act forced Chinese restaurant workers and laundrymen to socialize exclusively amongst themselves, nine-man offered both escape and fraternity for men who were separated from their families in China and facing extreme discrimination and distrust. Pivoting between oil-spotted Chinatown parking lots and jellyfish-filled banquet scenes, the film captures the spirit of nine-man as players not only battle for a championship but fight to preserve a sport that holds so much history.