Boys From the North Country
A conversation with award-winning filmmaker Tommy Haines about his latest project, “Hockeyland,” and why it’s more than just a sports documentary.
By Michael Judge
Sports provide a welcome escape from headlines that speak of war, calamity, and corruption. They also provide a much-needed testing ground for the young: a place that provides form and structure, where they can set goals and strive for excellence, where our competitive—and, yes, violent—nature can be contained within a gridiron, court, or rink.
Nowhere is this ritual more apparent than in high-school hockey in the frigid, wide-open spaces of Northern Minnesota. The high-school athletes director Tommy Haines captures on film in his latest and most personal documentary “Hockeyland” are young men grappling, as we all must, with life’s biggest questions: Who am I? Where do I fit in? What is meaningful?
IndieWire called the 108-minute film “a must-see, raw, and brutally absorbing.” The critics agreed, nominating “Hockeyland” for a prestigious 2022 Critics’ Choice Award. The film’s “heart,” says Haine…
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