Director Sam Pollard on Bill Russell’s greatness

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Sam Pollard. Photo credit: Netflix

Sam Pollard’s work as a documentary director and film editor has often shined a light on the Black experience during pivotal moments in the last century and on cultural figures who stood out during those times.He has edited several of Spike Lee’s films: “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Jungle Fever,” and “Bamboozled.” His own documentaries include “MLK/FBI,” “Mr. Soul!” and his latest, Netflix’s “Russell”  about the late great NBA star Bill Russell. Pollard tells The Treatment that while Russell and Wilt Chamberlain were rivals during a new era of basketball’s prominence, their approaches to the game were quite different. He talks about the thrill of getting so many basketball greats to give their perspective on Russell’s legacy. And he looks back at the subject of one of his earlier films, the groundbreaking public television series “Soul!”



Rebecca Mooney