Keeping the Faith: Linsanity Launches CAAMFEST
The fact that Linsanity, the documentary, can make someone like me – who can count the number of times she’s watched an NBA game (live or on TV) on one hand and who hadn’t seen Jeremy Lin in action until last Thursday night at the 1400-seat Castro Theatre in San Francisco for CAAMFEST’s sold-out opening night – laugh, cry, cheer and rise in applause is a testament to the artistry of both Jeremy Lin and the filmmakers.
I was enthralled by Lin’s inspiring story as much as I was by the majestic camera work, movie editing skills and musical composition of Evan Jackson Leong (director), Greg Louie (editor) and the Newton Brothers (original score). But you can read about all those things for yourself via coverage by myriad other sources following the movie’s triumphant debut at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2013 and CAAMFEST on March 14, 2013.
What I was really struck by is the narrative of Lin’s Christian faith and how it represented to him what his experience was all about. Take a look at the design of the movie’s title, and you’ll get a glimpse of what I mean.
Director Leong earned Lin and his family’s trust to get at the essence of his subject and revealed it for us in this uplifting tale about the special imprint of cultural and spiritual values. Lin was taught by his first-generation Taiwanese-American parents that God comes first, then family, then basketball. This movie is as much a manifesto about Lin’s sporting prowess as it is about his faith.
In reflecting on the “miracle” of helping lift the New York Knicks to victory that took over his life in February 2012, Lin said: “When I was going through all my insecurities and uncertainties and lacked confidence, I was losing focus on God. I was focusing on all these other things, like my job and what other people thought of me, what the reporters were writing. Over time, I was able to check myself and kind of get my focus back, and I think God did something supernatural in me, something that I couldn’t do on my own, something that I may never be able to recreate. So I think, in that instance, I learned to constantly live and play for God. Because when I do that, I’ll be able to walk on water.”
Following the screening, I asked Lin’s father for one phrase that describes his son, and he said, “Works hard.” I then asked for one phrase to describe the film, and he said, “Everything is true.”
To many, this documentary is likely “foremost a sporting tribute.” I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if through it Lin means to have an effect that is greater than the importance of hard work and beyond Jeremy Lin himself.
For more great storytelling, check out the incredible array of films, events and discussions happening at CAAMFEST all this week. www.caamfest.com