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Sugar (2008)Sugar (2008)

Major League baseball might be America's past time, but this film reminds us that it takes a global talent search to make it work. The fictionalized story follows Miguel "Sugar" Santos from his dusty village in the Dominican Republic to an Iowa minor league team, and then to his final fortune in New York City as he chases his dream, and family hopes and expectations, to become a big leaguer. Early on, though, we realize that this is not a baseball film; it's a story about the costs, consequences, and emotional dislocation that immigration to America require. "It's only a game, right?" jokes Sugar's buddy. Well, yes and no, and watching this film we learn why. Sugar himself, played by a nonprofessional actor named Algenis Pérez Sotois, is the sweetest of characters. There isn't a single villain in this film, but Sugar's experience shines a brutally revealing light on the human factor behind the glitz and glamour of professional sports. Mainly in Spanish with English subtitles.

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