Netflix has a series of “30 for 30” documentaries typically revolving around sports. Even if you are not a sports fan, the documentaries are usually very interesting and informative. The documentary “Broke” on Netflix was not an exception to this.
The documentary interviews a variety of athletes about their finances during and after playing professional sports. It discusses all the costs that often go into being a professional athlete and the lifestyle it entails. What’s interesting is that this film explores not only obvious aspects in this subject, but specific issues that are often left unconsidered.
For example, one issue the documentary explored was how often friends and family ask for money from their athletic relatives. This is an indirect effect that is not often talked about as an issue among celebrity athletes. However, part of what helps this documentary to succeed is the uncovering of these more specific issues.
This may sound small in comparison to how much society perceives athletes to make, but the documentary dispels the idea that all professional athletes make millions. Additionally, after the variety of problems talked about in this film, it’s shocking the amount of money athletes must spend on clothing, managers and even medical bills.
Because of the amount of interview clips on this subject, it emphasizes the main point of how many athletes are facing this issue. The interview clips included professional athletes as well as sports business professionals. Along with covering the variety of problems, it shows how many issues there are within the larger issue of professional athletes’ financials.
One area that was more difficult to understand was how some of the athletes splurged on hugely expensive items even though there is a known problem with former athletes running out of money. However, the documentary bookended this well by exploring the opportunities to educate athletes about their finances long before this problem arises.
Overall this documentary was incredibly informative, but given the severity of the subject, I feel as if the documentary could have set a more serious tone. The music was typically very light and the interviews were often very matter-of-fact. It had a little more opportunity to appeal to viewers emotions to create that level of understanding. Yet, the film was able to convey so much information in a fairly short amount of time, probably in part due to the focus on the interviews and less on background footage.
I give this documentary 4 out of 5 stars.