CIFF Review: The Carter Effect

Toronto is one of the most popular cities to visit in Canada. However, back in the 90’s if you were cheering on a sports team, it would more than likely be hockey. That is until 1995 when the Toronto Raptors became an expansion team in the NBA. But when Vince Carter was drafted in 98, the atmosphere in began to change in Toronto and has had a lasting presence that is deemed…the Carter Effect.

 Photo courtesy of  Instagram

Photo courtesy of Instagram

In this documentary that followed the chronological timeline and history of the Raptors and Carter, you can see how important the team was to Canada and to him. Besides showing the greatest Slam Dunk Contest to exist, one of my favorite parts of the film was when they talked about how the Raptors still weren’t getting airtime on TV like the other teams. Vince Carter and the Raptors begged for the opportunity to show the world what they were made of. They not only put on a show but won the game. They were a team that was to be taken seriously in the league and they proved it.

This film showed you not only the good moments like how Vince helped but basketball courts in neighborhoods to keep kids off the street. But it also showed the tough moments in his career like when he was traded and how much it hurt him to have to leave the city that he called his home.

I appreciated this film because it showcased a not only a great basketball player, but a man who’s impact on the city of Toronto and the NBA league will never be forgotten. So many people were willing to be a part of this film and attest to his greatness on and off the court. Drake recalls how as a young man, he wanted to play basketball like so many other of his friends because of him. Vince was instrumental in basketball camps and helping the youth. Although he left the team, years later you can still see the fruits of his labor in the talent that has come out of Canada since. Players like our very own Tristan Thompson, and others like Andrew Wiggins and Cory Joseph who had Carter to look up to.

It is clear that Vince Carter had a lasting effect on the city of Toronto. The fans love the team and it is the only NBA team in Canada. The addition of Jurassic Park outside of the Air Canada Centre where they play is a testament to the loyalty of the fans. If you love basketball and feel good stories then I recommend that you see this film.

Black Girl in the CLE is proud to be a media partner for the Cleveland International Film Festival.