Dir. Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson
Play is a four part documentary series that takes its name from for the seminal book Homo Ludens or “Man the Player” (alternatively, “Playing Man”), written in 1938 by Dutch historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga. In it, Huizinga skillfully argues that play and sport are primary elements of culture and society. Amongst its many attributes play helps to develop a sense of confidence, and value. It gives us a sense of predictability and in turn promotes our sense of justice. Play chronicles the evolution of American society, politics and culture from the vantage point of its athletes and the evolution of American sport culture. Through the personal stories of athletes, fans and their connection to major developments in American history, audiences come to a rich and fascinating understanding of American society today. We will witness the evolution of an American identity. We will witness the development of distinct American value systems and our national obsession with justice. In the simplest terms, we are how we play.