SLFS Review – THE GRAY SEASONS
The title of Robert Herrera’s compelling new documentary THE GRAY SEASONS does not refer to overcast skies nor the tones of the exceptional black and and white photography. It’s main focus is Shimmy Gray-Miller, the young woman hired to overhaul the St. Louis University Lady Billikens basketball program starting starting in 2006. The title seasons are the four following that start, through 2010.Before she arrives the record of the team is dismal, so Coach Gray-Miller begins building from the ground up by recruiting star players from high schools all across the country. The film focuses on this small group of young women as the coach,with her assistants, try to establish a new winning dynasty. With the opening of their new home facility, the Chafetz Arena, hopes are running high. Over the course of these four years staff and administration change as Gray-Miller tries to connect with her talented players. There’s lots of footage in the locker room as she spurs them on and later during the grueling early morning practice sessions. It’s jarring to see the nearly empty bleachers at the games-even the big tournaments. It seems that the men continue to fill the stands and command media attention. Perhaps that will change soon because of dedicated players and coaches like the women profiled here. By the time the four seasons wind down few of the players from 2006 remain. As Coach Gray-Miller says, ” This isn’t HOOSIERS. “.Still THE GRAY SEASONS is just as enlightening and inspiring.
THE GRAY SEASONS will screen during the 2011 Stella Artois St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcaseat 5:00PM on Thursday, August 18th at the Tivoli Theatre.