NO NO – A DOCKUMENTARY
Initially, I had questions about the fact that Dock Ellis, who was pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitched a ‘No No,’ that is a no-hitter, against the San Diego Padres in 1971. How did he play, and play great, while on LSD? When did he realize that he was on his way to pitch a no-hitter? Where did he find the strike zone, even more, the catcher’s glove? Lastly…What was he thinking?
All of these questions are answered by Dock. However, his drug use during the games, whether it was LSD or Dexamyl, is only the nexus to this great baseball player’s career. Dock Ellis was a natural out of high school in Los Angeles, a true talent that landed a spot on the Batavia Pirate’s minor league team. He made his way to the big leagues in 1968, and did what a lot of players were doing at that time to be competitive: drugs.
Dock Ellis was a flamboyant player on the field and a funny, cool guy with his teammates off the field. He was also a very proud black man, who understood his role as a player of color. In the documentary, you listen to an audio clip while viewing a letter from Jackie Robinson. This becomes one of a few poignant periods, in which you feel Dock’s passion and pain. As Dock reads the letter from Jackie, he becomes emotional in realizing again his impact on the game and society; he feels these powerful words and the letter’s timeless, personal message.
The United States was moving in a direction from the beginning of the Civil Rights movement, but sometimes that movement was slow. He used his platform as a black athlete to charge society with the unjust and unkind treatment of black people. As a member of the Pirates, a mostly African-American and Latin-American team, he found a role model who affected his actions as a player and person in life: Roberto Clemente, a great humanitarian who died in 1973.
In ‘No No: A Dockumentary,’ Dock Ellis is referred to as, ‘The Muhammad Ali of Baseball,’ because of his flare to grab attention for personal and political reasons. And this is the nexus that was mentioned in the first part of the review: Dock Ellis dealt with drugs, domestic abuse as a result of drugs and drinking, and then, after a time of rehabilitation and education, he counseled baseball players, young inmates, and people needing help. The impact he left on society, was reflective of the letter from Jackie Robinson.
For a Preview of the Trailer and to Purchase this on AMAZON Click Here: DOCK ELLIS #17
Directed By: Jeffery J. Radice
Score: Adam Horovitz
Studio: The Orchard