Reggie: An Insightful Documentary For More Than Just Baseball Fans
Baseball’s relationship with race has been portrayed in a way that is not exactly reflective of reality. For a lot of people, the end of racism within the league was when Jackie Robinson joined the league in 1947, however, these issues did not end there. Reggie takes a look at the life of Yankee great Reggie Jackson through the lens of his own life while also shining a light on the obstacles he faced over the course of his life and his career.
Documentaries are a little bit different from standard movies where there is an infrequent occasion to call out how the film is made on a technical level. A lot of the time, documentaries follow the same general guidelines about how to produce it and make it look good. In this way, a documentary is more about its subject than its technical work because, much like color grading or sound work, unless it is really great or among some of the worst work imaginable, it is usually not noticed by viewers. That said, Reggie
is a competently made documentary that does not distract from the message with anything out of the ordinary.
Where the documentary does very well is portraying the issues that plagued Reggie Jackson’s life without pulling punches and making the narrative into a puff piece about his greatness. At the same time, it does not villainize him, it just gives a middle-of-the-road portrayal of the facts behind his life while allowing for the emotion to flow naturally from the testimony and the story. At the same time, it does a lot in the same way to the MLB which is important because it does not clean up the experience of players of color during the era.
All of that said, Reggie is an interesting documentary but there is not a ton of new information given. It is useful for younger fans who may be trying to learn more about the history of baseball, the Yankees, or Reggie Jackson specifically, but older fans (or fans who watched documentaries like Baseball by Ken Burns) may find this as slightly less informative. That said, this is a great appetizer for both the baseball season as it starts and the impending Yankees documentary coming from ESPN films.
Final Rating: 8/10