HBO’s ‘State Of Play’ Will Debut Three New, Aggressive Documentaries This Month

Since HBO Sports premiered State Of Play: Trophy Kids, back in 2013, the docu-series has left viewers wanting more. More great storytelling, and more at looking into an unprecedented view into the darker side of competitive athletics.

State Of Play continues this month with three captivating stories that are sure to create buzz.

Topics include: Violence In Sports,  An Underdog Prizefighter’s Pursuit Of A Title, and The Palestine National Football Team’s Quest To Compete Amidst Strife.

The three new editions are put together by HBO Sports and executive producers Peter Berg and Matthew Goldberg.

Inherent Violence debuts Tuesday, Dec. 13 (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO. The two other editions are slated for the next two nights at the same time.


STATE OF PLAY: INHERENT VIOLENCE

Debut: TUESDAY, DEC. 13 (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET/PT)

  • Other HBO playdates: Dec. 18 (3:00 p.m.), 19 (12:55 p.m.) and 22 (3:15 a.m.)
  • HBO2 playdates: Dec. 13 (4:40 a.m.) and 23 (4:00 p.m.)

Combative sport has transcended time, and remains popular today. Is violence an inherent part of sports, or is it an inherent part of human beings? This film explores combat sports through two father-son relationships: a 33-year-old American professional MMA fighter who is combat-training his 10-year-old son, and a 47-year-old retired player of Calcio Storico in Florence, Italy, who has groomed his son to compete in a form of soccer (dating back to the 16th century) in which head-butting, punching, elbowing and choking are allowed.

STATE OF PLAY: FIGHTING CHANCE

Debut: WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14 (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

  • Other HBO playdates: Dec. 18 (3:30 p.m.), 20 (1:40 p.m.) and 22 (3:45 a.m.)
  • HBO2 playdates: Dec. 14 (2:35 a.m.) and 24 (6:30 p.m.)

Having spent his entire adult life as a professional boxer, 35-year-old Raymundo “Sugar Ray” Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KOs), a Mexican immigrant and father of three, is striving to win his first world title as his career wanes. Known as a formidable opponent and a sparring partner of worldwide superstar Manny Pacquiao, he has spent most of his career on the fringe of the sport and now strives to break free of his underdog status. Beltran’s pursuit of a championship brings into sharp focus the question of what it takes to win and asks if talent and skill alone make an athlete successful in boxing, or do circumstance, context and politics also play a significant role?

STATE OF PLAY: GAME OF BORDERS

Debut: THURSDAY, DEC. 15 (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

  • Other HBO playdates: Dec. 18 (4:00 p.m.), 21 (1:30 p.m.) and 22 (4:15 a.m.)
  • HBO2 playdates: Dec. 15 (4:00 a.m.) and 25 (6:25 p.m.)

In a time of conflict and unrest, is the reward of organized sport worth the risk? Amid the conflict and chaos of the Middle East, the national football team of Palestine keeps playing. Should they take the field when the stakes off the field are as high as life and death? Or do these athletes provide an essential and peaceful glimmer of light to their community?


Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports.

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