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Interview: Filmmaker Pete Berg Discusses Tragedy and ‘Boys in Blue’

Pete Berg tends to make bombastic entertainment. Now, when he ties in emotions, like with Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor, and Patriots Day, he often blows me away. Even when it’s meant as more just mainstream cinema, it’s still made with dedication and intensity. Berg brought all of that to the nonfiction world with Boys in Blue, a Showtime sports documentary series. What was intended to just be a chronicle of a football team took a turn when real life tragedy reared its head. For those who don’t know, this is the basis of the series: it follows the North Community High School and the Polars football team in North Minneapolis, where the mostly Black student-athletes are coached and mentored by Minneapolis Police Department officers. It takes place during the 2021 season as the players come of age in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. Heavy stuff, to be sure, but meant to be uplifting as well. Then, life intervened. Recently, I hopped on Zoom to talk about it with Berg, and that chat is here for you to watch today.

Below, you can see my conversation with Berg. We spoke before I hit record a bit about his films, so the show was the main focus here. Hearing about what he’d planned the doc to be about, as opposed to how it transformed through a real-life tragedy, is fascinating. Berg clearly cares deeply about these individuals and this story, which comes off in Boys in Blue. If you haven’t seen it yet on Showtime, you really should check it out…

Here now is my interview with Boys in Blue director and producer Pete Berg. Enjoy:

Boys in Blue is available to watch on Showtime!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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