Former US Senator and Knicks legend Bill Bradley is the focus of a new documentary called Rolling Along. The film, which is actually a cinematic rendition of Bradley’s stage production from December 2021, was both written and presented by the three-term New Jersey Senator and basketball Hall-of-Famer, and was directed by Spike Lee and Frank Oz. Bradley joined 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to talk about the film’s debut.
Bradley told Berman and Riedel that the idea for the film came about after he donated his political papers to Princeton University. “They did an oral history and interviewed probably 70 people, and I invited them all to a reception. They came, about 40 of them… one of the people there was [Broadway producer] Manny Azenberg… he said, ‘It sounds a little bit like Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain; you ought to work something up,’ and so I did. It’s a summing up, it’s my story, I mean, we all have our stories, and I decided I wanted to tell my story.”
Part of that story deals with Bradley’s transition from dominant athlete to successful politician. “When I was with the Knicks, I began to do certain things in politics, and over time politics took on a greater interest for me, and I really thought it’s a pretty simple motivation. I wanted to make the world a better place. I was living in New Jersey, and I thought, I’ll run for the Senate. That’s where I could have an impact, and I did, and with the support of my constituents, I won.”
The film also deals with Bradley’s views on how hostile right and left have become toward each other. “I think that what happens is politics is polarized, and the extremes of each party now seem to control more of the dialogue than I think they should. Really, what I wanted to do with this film was try to… maybe begin a healing process, so that people begin to see the humanity of others, as opposed to just the cookie cutter, ideological, far-right/far-left view.”
Rolling Along will have three showings as part of the Tribeca Film Festival: Friday, June 16th at 8:30pm at the SVA Theater, and Saturday, June 17th at 12:00pm and Sunday, June 18th at 9:00pm at the AMC 19th Street East 6. The June 16th show will be the film’s world premiere. Ticket information can be found at tribecafilm.com.
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