New to Netflix this week is the heartfelt sports documentary called We Are: The Brooklyn Saints. This series follows a Brooklyn-based football program that offers support and unity to youths in its community.
We Are: The Brooklyn Saints is created by Emmy-winning filmmaker Rudy Valdez (The Last Patrol, The Sentence). It is a simple and straightforward series, spanning over four episodes, all of which are under an hour.
Who are the Brooklyn Saints?
The Brooklyn Saints are a small-scale football organization, first founded in 2009.
Based in Brooklyn, the organization serves local youths from ages seven to 13. The team’s founders use football as a playful way to teach children the importance of teamwork and structure. These themes are seen throughout the Netflix documentary.
On the Brooklyn Saints website, they list their mission as:
[…] to provide sports, educational and physical fitness programs that empower and educate youth. These programs have helped young people recognize their abilities and talents while igniting their self-esteem.The Brooklyn Saints
We Are: The Brooklyn Saints
We Are: The Brooklyn Saints was uploaded to the Netflix streaming platform on January 29. Despite it focusing on a community football program, it is for audiences of all sorts: Both sports enthusiasts and not.
This miniseries submerges its audience into the Brooklyn Saints program at full speed. The series is split between following the football coaches and players throughout their every day; practices, team-building exercises, group excursions, game day.
The audience is with them through thick and thin, smiles and tears, wins and losses.
Brooklyn Saints Coach Gawuala is a vital part of the organization and a stand-out cast member from the series. He is thoughtful and encouraging in all that he does.
He has a tight-knit relationship with his players and his “can-do” energy is infectious to all— even those viewers who are watching, unmovingly, from their couch.
In a scene from episode one, he is shown hyping up the team. Coach Gawuala tells the young players, “Everybody show some love, that’s the Brooklyn way.”
Standard documentary style, he explains his intentions. The passionate coach tells the camera, “I felt like I had to salute each kid who came out to participate in playing football. It’s not easy, it’s a lot to do.”
We Are: The Brooklyn Saints is an insightful and powerful series with incredible, self-less narrations. It is a celebration of togetherness and vulnerability— something that is incredibly relevant to our current social sphere.
We Are: The Brooklyn Saints Season 1 is available on Netflix.