‘Black Ice’ Review: A Troubled Hockey History

Hubert Davis’ “Black Ice” is a candid and sensitive account of the experiences of athletes of color in Canadian hockey and the racism endured at the hands of other players, coaches and fans. Allowing the players to tell their stories, Davis provides a maddening and painful account of their experiences and the extraordinary legacy of Canadian hockey players of color that dates back to the 19th-century creation of the Colored Hockey League. I keep my eyes on the balance.

“Black Ice” feels similar to director Samuel Pollard’s recent documentary “The League,” which documents the achievements of black American baseball players. But Canadian documentary filmmaker Davis explains how hockey has been such an important part of his country’s identity, and how hockey-loving Canadian players of color say they don’t like hockey from an early age. Focusing on what it felt like to be beaten. belongs to

That reality, the film explains, clashes with both Canada’s self-perception of being an idealized multicultural melting pot and hockey’s “loose” team mentality. Achim Aliu, who made the news in 2020 for speaking out about racist slurs against his coaches, has faced offensive and exclusionary conduct while gaining support at various levels of play, not just in the National Hockey League. He is one of several men and women who testify that from his friends and family.

The intriguing story of the Colored Hockey League, which pioneered the basics of the game (including Slapshot), is richly and distinctly intertwined with the story of Africville, a black community outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Destroyed during protests in the 1960s. Presenting a program for developing young players of color and expanding the division, Davis points to a different future for hockey.

black ice
Rated R for strong language, including racial slurs. Running time: 1 hour 37 minutes. at the theater.

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