Tommy Haines’ new documentary Hockeyland takes a look at a long tradition in Minnesota’s unforgiving North Country, where senior boys from rival communities skate for a last chance to etch their names into local lore. The documentary will World Premiere at 2021 DOC NYC.
Northern Minnesota is felt in the bones. The deep chill of a long winter, the toll of a day in the mine, bruises from the hockey rink. But times they are a changin’, and toughness is no longer the only measure of a man. In this unforgiving country, senior boys in rival communities—one emerging dynasty, one with a fabled past—skate for a last chance to etch their names into local lore.
Lightning fast on-ice action is paired with a patient observational approach to examine these two communities and their teen heroes through debilitating injuries, off-ice troubles, family health concerns, and the expectations of being a future star in the NHL. These boys must keep these small-town pressures, adolescent distractions and rising testosterone under control to pursue glory with the help of their coaches’ traditional fiery speeches and new mindfulness techniques. In America’s far reaches, this is a portrait of young men on the brink. This is Hockeyland.
Watch the first teaser trailer for Hockeyland.