There’s a freshtastic Ron Artest documentary currently playing at Hot Docs: Quiet Storm. S’really well done like 30 for 30 well done…it covers all the hip hop that flows outta Ron’s Queensbridge projects right up to that HUGE 3 with the Lakers. Storm is directed by Johnny Sweet whose previous doc Vick was on another polarizing athlete: Michael Vick.
The basic premise of the Ron Arterst documentary?
“In the world of professional sports no American athlete ever came back from a mental health disorder….until Ron Artest, now known to the world as Metta World Peace.”
You know? There’s this thing we do; it’s not a particularly bright thing but we do it often enough that we have a pattern. We…as in us as a society.
Someone steps forward shares something with vulnerability and…is instantly vilified. However as the years unfold that uncredited and often unrecognized individual will be proven right.
About a year ago Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan released statements about their mental health status and anxiety struggles. We all held hands, called them brave and established the bold narrative that this was the start of a significant revolution.
Thing is before Love and before DeRozan there was Kendall Gill…for some of you that’s a who? In 1995 Gill who played for Charlotte Hornets and Seattle SuperSonics openly talked about his mental health experiences following his diagnosis of clinical depression and was promptly…vilified. Sports reporters at the time label Gill as a malcontent.
And yet the mental health discussion Gill ignited culminated with the infamous Malice at the Palace where on November 19, 2004 Ron Artest climbed in the stands to begin punching Detroit Pistons fans.
Because after Gill and before Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan there was Ron Artest. Quiet Storm is the aptly named and fascinating exploration of Ron Artest’s career and an examination of his character. For you can’t know somebody until you understand them.
The proliferation of quality sports documentaries has forced us to reexamine the narratives we associate with the players. All good documentaries just as all good lives are prompted by asking key questions and fueled by a dogged determination to get answers. It’s evolution in thinking, growth…maturity. It’s what narratives are not good at doing because they’re time-locked; maturity makes narratives like ill-fitting hand me down clothes.
If you don’t wanna put on pants or can’t come to Hot Docs…it’ll be on Showtime on May 31. Which is Mental Health Month.
Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story Trailer: