Greener Grass: Cuba, Baseball and the United States highlights the defection of Cuban pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who was signed by the New York Yankees in 1998.
By looking at more than a century of baseball history, Greener Grass: Cuba, Baseball and the United States illustrates the ways in which the game has served as a common ground and a test of strength between politically estranged countries. It also reveals how the sport can be seen as a microcosm that reflects divergent national identities, as well as underlying tensions of race, democracy, and opportunity.
Featured interviews include Tommy Lasorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who was a former player in the Cuban Professional League; Wilfredo Sanchez, Cuba’s all-time hits leader; and many others…
Festival / Broadcast Premieres:
Banff television festival. 2000 (Rockie Award, ‘Best Sport Program’) This film had its US broadcast premiere on PBS in June 2000 and was re-licensed and re-released by PBS in August 2008. Festival Appearances include the Chicago Latino and Hot Springs Film Festivals. Greener Grass was a Washington Post (6/25/00) and People Magazine (6/26/00) Pick of the Week.
“There is nothing bush league about this vivid film”
Wall Street Journal / Dow Jones News Service - 6/23/2000
“Observations and file footage show a love affair between sport and country that’s a joy to behold. The direction, editing and writing…consistently hit the ball out of the park."
Weekly Variety, June 26 - July 9, 2000 - Phil Gallo
“Wearing its heart on its sleeve like a team insignia, the film finds nobility in the hardscrabble life of today’s Cubans…Baseball may still have a place in America’s heart but the game is engraved on Cuba’s soul”
New York Times - 6/26/2000
“Another one of the strengths of Greener Grass is the diversity of viewpoints it provides and its fairness in presenting them. Greener Grass (is) a well-made, informative documentary that is about as politically fair as we have come to expect from a PBS-funded project”
Washington Times - 6/24/2000