The personalities, camaraderie and underdog journey behind the Argentinian men’s basketball victory at the Olympic Games Athens 2004 is featured in The Golden Generation, the third film in the Olympic Channel’s signature series Five Rings Films. The feature-length documentary directed by Juan Jose Campanella and Camilo Antolini launched Monday, 22 October at olympicchannel.com and its mobile apps, in addition to premieres in Europe on Eurosport and across MENA on beIN Sports on 22 October, and in the United States on NBCSN on 31 October.
The Golden Generation spotlights the Argentine Men’s National Team’s historic run to claim gold at the Athens 2004 Olympic Basketball Tournament and reunites the country’s homegrown heroes to revisit the moment that captured the nation. Through this victory, this special group of players created one of most memorable moments in Olympic basketball history while displaying an incredible team spirit that had been honed since their days of playing together on youth teams.
“The history of the golden generation is much more than a triumph of underdogs, which it is.” said Campanella, who directed the film “The Secret in Their Eyes” that won the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010. “What really thrills and impacts is the humility, effort and camaraderie of a group of people that keeps growing stronger over time – a team of individual stars who managed to merge into a single spirit, and who years later maintains a friendship and admiration for each other that remains unchanged.”
Following their victory over hosts United States of America at the 2002 FIBA Basketball World Cup 2002, where they became the first team to defeat a U.S. roster comprised entirely of NBA players, Argentina shocked the world by defeating an American team of NBA stars Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Tim Duncan and Stephon Marbury once again in the 2004 Olympic semi-finals.
Argentina would go on to capture gold and its first Olympic medal in basketball after defeating Italy by 15 points in the gold medal game thanks to a stellar performance from San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili and a talented group of athletes who had formed a strong bond after playing together since their teens.
Dubbed the “Golden Generation” by media, this group of athletes experienced multiple successes on the international stage from 2001 to 2016 that would solidify Argentina’s place among the sport’s elite. Eight players from the 2004 gold medal winning team would go on to play in the NBA, and along the way have ignited a new passion and excitement for basketball in Argentina that continues today.
The documentary features insightful and sometimes emotional interviews with every player on the 2004 gold medal team who relive their experience in great detail, humour and insight including Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni, Fabricio Oberto, Ruben Wolkowyski, Carlos Delfino, Pepe Sanchez, Alejandro Montecchia, Leo Gutierrez, Gabriel Fernandez, Walter Herrmann, Hugo Sconochini, and coaches Ruben Magnano and Alejandro Casetai. Additional commentary includes former NBA Commissioner David Stern, the Spur’s Gregg Popovich, Olympic medallists Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol, FIBA President Horacio Muratore and journalist Mike Monroe.
Directed by Juan Jose Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes) and Camilo Antolini (ESPN Films 30 for 30 Soccer Stories: White, Blue and White) from Argentina and produced by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall (Jason Bourne, Jurassic World, Indiana Jones) and Mandalay Sports Media (MSM), The Golden Generation features archival footage, interviews from athletes, coaches, influencers and journalists, and remarkable access in Argentina and beyond.
Five Rings Films, the Olympic Channel’s signature documentary series, is produced exclusively for the global media platform by Hollywood legend Frank Marshall and MSM. Five Rings Films is a series of incisive and entertaining documentaries directed by some of the biggest names in film from around the world. Previous films include The Nagano Tapes, which tells the inspiring underdog story of the Czech Republic’s stunning gold medal win in men’s ice hockey in 1998, and The People’s Fighter’s, which examines Cuba’s boxing culture highlighting the career of the legendary Teofilo Stevenson.