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Dock Ellis, a talented and controversial pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates of the early 1970s,, is profiled in the documentary "No No: A Dockumentary." Courtesy Sundance Institute
Sundance review: ‘No No: A Dockumentary’

"No No: A Dockumentary"

U.S. Documentary

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*** (three stars)

You might hope an iconoclast like Dock Ellis, the Major League Baseball pitcher who in 1971 threw a no-hitter while high on LSD, would get a documentary as wild as he was. Director Jeffrey Radice’s film, "No No: A Dockumentary," is more of a traditional documentary, but it lets Ellis’ story be told both by Ellis and the people who knew him best. The movie covers Ellis’ flamboyant style, his clashes with Pittsburgh Pirates management, and his efforts to push to take African-American equality to the next level a quarter century after Jackie Robinson’s debut. Radice also tackles Ellis’ dark side, including domestic abuse and a history of drug problems that led to a post-baseball career as a drug counselor. Some of the archival footage is limited, but the interviews with Ellis’ old teammates are engaging.

-- Sean P. Means

"No No: A Dockumentary" screens again at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: Thursday at 9 p.m. at the Tower Theatre, Park City; Friday at noon at the Temple Theatre, Park City; and Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, Park City.

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