Documentaries

'I want audiences to experience what it's like to be a Black athlete'

Award-winning filmmaker Thyrone Tommy delves into the complicated history of elite Black athletes in Canada in “More Than a Game,” the sixth episode of the CBC docuseries Black Life: Untold Stories.

Black Life: Untold Stories doc shows the challenges of performing at a high level 'in a white space'

‘I want audiences to experience what it's like to be a Black athlete’ | Black Life: Untold Stories

3 months ago
Duration 2:45
Canadian film director Thyrone Tommy shares his vision for ‘More Than a Game,’ the sixth episode of CBC docuseries Black Life: Untold Stories. Watch the full docuseries on CBC Gem.

Award-winning filmmaker Thyrone Tommy delves into the complicated history of elite Black athletes in Canada in "More Than a Game," the sixth episode of the CBC docuseries Black Life: Untold Stories.

Through personal stories and interviews with some of Canada's most successful Black athletes, the episode looks at their lived experience, racism in sport, and what the future holds.

"I want audiences to experience what it's like to be a Black athlete — the trials and tribulations that go into performing at a high level while living in a Black body while existing in a white space," Tommy said. 

"More Than a Game" is an ode to Black Canadian athletes in the NHL, the NBA, the Olympics and beyond — and the legacy they left behind.

Interviewees include: 

  • Paul Allen.
  • Earl Chase.
  • Horace Chase.
  • George Elliott Clarke.
  • Crystal Emmanuel.
  • Blake Harding.
  • David Hunnings.
  • Heidi Jacobs.
  • Valerie Jerome.
  • Germaine Langford.
  • Clay Moyle.
  • Ornella Nzindukiyimana.
  • Jacob Sampson.
  • P.K. Subban.
  • Donald Tabron Jr.

About the director

Thyrone Tommy is an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre's Directors' Lab and his films have screened at over 30 festivals worldwide. His short, Mariner, premiered at TIFF 2016 and made the festival's list of Canada's Top Ten short films; the next year, it won the Lindalee Tracey Award. Learn to Swim, his debut feature, premiered at TIFF 2021 and was again chosen as one of Canada's Top Ten. The film was distributed by Mongrel Media in Canada and released on Netflix by Ava DuVernay's Array Releasing. For TV, he has directed episodes of CBC's Revenge of the Black Best Friend and Murdoch Mysteries.

Watch "More Than a Game" Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT) on CBC-TV and anytime on CBC Gem.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from features on anti-Black racism to success stories from within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

A banner of upturned fists, with the words 'Being Black in Canada'.
(CBC)

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

Get our curated selection of must-watch docs from CBC in your inbox every week!

...

The next issue of Documentaries newsletter will soon be in your inbox.

Discover all CBC newsletters in the Subscription Centre.opens new window

now