Giannis: The Marvelous Journey (2024)

Giannis: The Marvelous Journey (2024)

This awe-inspiring and triumphant documentary gives justice to an NBA star’s remarkable rise to the top

7.3

Movie

United States of America
English
Documentary
2024
KRISTEN LAPPAS
Alex Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kenny Smith
109 min

TLDR

I didn’t know anything about Giannis before going in, but now I feel like I could probably die for him.

What it's about

An icon in the making, Giannis Antetokounmpo tells the unbelievable true story of how he overcame a difficult childhood in Greece to become one of the greatest NBA champs of all time.

The take

Giannis Antetokounmpo's rags-to-riches life story is the stuff of movies, and indeed it’s been told many times on print and screen. But this is the first time he and his family are telling it themselves, which is a big deal since Antetokounmpo, as it turns out, is inseparable from his family. Their revealing interviews about how they struggled as undocumented immigrants from Nigeria in Greece add a new, moving depth to a well-known journey, which Director Kristen Lappas wisely divides into chapters named after Greek ideals Antetokounmpo represents. Despite Lappas’ background (she is Greek-American), she makes sure to balance Antetokounmpo's heroic moments with the Greek government’s at-times unfair treatment of the athlete and other immigrants in the country. She also puts a spotlight on the pressures Antetokounmpo is going through as one of the youngest champs in NBA history. After all, at just 29 years old, he’s already a two-time MVP and playoff winner. This doc proves that the story of how he got there is no less remarkable.

What stands out

The love and unshakable loyalty Antetokounmpo feels for his family and his people, which are both his strength and Achilles heel. Also, the many funny ways people (mis)pronounce "Antetokounmpo."

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