Once Brothers is an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Vlade Divac and Dražen Petrović, two basketball players from Yugoslavia that were among the first Europeans to break into the NBA. They were close friends and teammates playing together on the Yugoslavia national basketball team. The film follows Vlade Divac’s journey of making the national basketball team, his friendship with star player Dražen Petrović, and their transition into the NBA. But then the Yugoslav war tears the two apart. If you paid attention in school, you might recall that the Yugoslav Wars, in which Yugoslavia broke up into different countries due to massive ethnic conflicts between different reasons. Vlade was from Serbia, Dražen was from Croatia, and that’s not a good mix. Plus one time Vlade disrespected the Croatian flag, and that pretty much ended their friendship. And they never got to make amends because Dražen went and got himself killed in a car accident. This is a great documentary about how politics, the real world, and sports impact each other. It makes you appreciate the past, but you can’t help but wonder what could have been.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young