Pride | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


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During the steamy summer of 1973, a former swim-champ turned handyman working at a rundown rec center turns a crew of inner-city Philadelphia teens into a viable swim team. His secret: "PRD," or pride, determination and resilience -- a technique as useful in the pool as it is in the street fending off the grind of poverty and institutional racism. Sunu Gonera's inspirational light drama is based on the career of former Pittsburgher and Westinghouse grad Jim Ellis, who is still putting Philly kids into pools and on the right life-track. Pride hits the genre's familiar beats (your toes, at least, will be groovin' to the period R&B soundtrack), but Gonera's film is enjoyable and the swimming milieu makes a refreshing change from the usual basketball and football arenas. Terence Howard portrays Ellis; while the likably intense actor might be overqualified for a story set in the shallow end, Howard is wise enough to play Ellis with more quiet dignity than hoo-hah bombast. And he's not afraid to cry beautifully. Starts Fri., March 23. (AH)



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