As someone who considers the “deep south” to be anything below Manhattan's 14th street, “Friday Night Lights” might as well have been set in a fantastical alternate universe, like Narnia but with more cheerleaders and less talk about God (Coach Taylor = the Aslan of Texas). Needless to say, there are indeed hundreds of small American towns in which life revolves around high school football, and where a touchdown run or a blown pass can single-handedly determine a kid’s future. And just when it seemed like “Varsity Blues” had set the irrevocable precedent of portraying such communities as cartoons, Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s documentary “Undefeated” blitzed SXSW in March of 2011 and reminded us just how real and bracing these gridiron sagas can be.
An underdog story in its own right, “Undefeated”’s unlikely championship run saw the scrappy little film fight for distribution, only for it to be acquired by The Weinstein Company and ultimately win the Oscar for Best Documentary last year. Chronicling the ups and downs of a season with the Manassas Tigers of Memphis, Tennessee, “Undefeated” is a moving portrait of kids finding the strength to take life’s hits, and learning how to hit back.
Finally coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on February 19th, here’s an exclusive peek at one of the film’s most intense scenes.