Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This award-winning documentary reunites six Jewish friends who grew up in the same Brighton Beach neighborhood. The reunion brings forth nostalgic memories of the friends' carefree childhood days of the 1950s and their festive teen years during the '60s, but often grows dark and grim when talk of Vietnam, drugs, and broken dreams dominates the conversation. Still and all, the six renew their friendship during a therapeutic game of street basketball. The "characters" include Steve Satin, a former drug addict now working at a seafood restaurant; Larry Brown, a successful contractor; Brian Newmark and Bernie Bandman, both clinical psychologists; Bobby Feld, who has worked his entire adult life for American Express as a "purposeful underachiever"; Madelyn Ryderband, a singer and actress; and the group's "clown," Frankie Bass, who grew up to become a Philadelphia schoolteacher. Combining interviews, family photos, and archival news footage, The Boys of 2nd Street Park was first shown January 21, 2003, at the Sundance Film Festival and later made its TV bow on the Showtime cable network.
archival-footage, basketball, childhood, friendship, home-movies, interview, neighborhood, nostalgia, reminiscence, reunion, self-identity