One Man and His Shoes at HOME

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
HOME

One Man and His Shoes at HOME Manchester, Manchester 23 — 29 October 2020 Tickets from £5 — Book now

British filmmaker Yemi Bamiro looks stateside with his new Nike Air Jordan documentary One Man and His Shoes. Taking a long view, Bamiro maps out how a middling sportswear company joined forces with then rookie NBA player, Michael Jordan, in order to produce a basketball shoe that would take over the world. The filmmaker utilises former Nike employees, sneakerheads and cultural commentators — as well as slick animation and archive footage — to look at the marketing and business decisions that led to billions of dollars in sales.

There is a celebratory tone to the opening sections as we see Jordan’s manager chuckle at how the athlete didn’t initially want to meet with Nike, and how nobody thought to include a cap on Jordan’s royalties. The film looks back at the glee with which Nike reacted to the NBA’s decision to ban the original version of the trainers — what’s cooler than something verboten? It also looks back at the decision to have up and coming filmmaker Spike Lee produce a series of TV adverts, and the sneaker culture those ads helped to foster.

Indeed, the doc arrives in the wake of Netflix’s The Last Dance — an epic, laudatory, all-access documentary series which charts the extraordinary career Michael Jordan had in basketball. For a time, One Man and His Shoes feels like a shorter retread, but while The Last Dance was made in conjunction with Jordan and his team, Bamiro’s film moves towards a more critical approach, and both the athlete and Nike refused to participate.

In its final third, One Man and His Shoes examines the darker side of the Air Jordan phenomenon. For over thirty years, people have been robbed and killed for their Jordan-branded trainers. Bamiro interviews family members who have lost loved ones, drawing direct lines to Nike’s policy of marketing Air Jordans as status symbols to young black men living in deprived areas, and maintaining that demand through a deliberate scarcity of product.

One Man and His Shoes at HOME Manchester, Manchester 23 — 29 October 2020 Tickets from £5 Book now

What's on at HOME Manchester

Where to go near One Man and His Shoes at HOME

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Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

The Ritz Manchester live music venue
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The Ritz

The Ritz was originally a dance hall, built in 1928, has hosted The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and The Smiths and is still going strong as a gig venue now.

Homeground
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Homeground

Homeground is HOME’s brand new outdoor venue, providing an open-air space for theatre, food, film, music, comedy and more.

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Burgess Cafe Bar
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Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

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Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens. The two-tier terrace overlooks the Rochdale canal and what used to be the back of the Hacienda, providing an unusual, historic view of the city.

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The Briton’s Protection

Standing on the corner of a junction opposite The Bridgewater Hall, The Briton’s Protection is Manchester’s oldest pub. It has occupied the same spot since 1795, going under the equally patriotic name The Ancient Britain.

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