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The Other Dream Team

The team of 'The Other Dream Team'

The story of the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team, a group of trailblazing athletes who won the bronze at the Barcelona Olympics and left an indelible mark on the history books.

Led by the unique skills of Sarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis, the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team helped their country break free from the shackles of Communism. After leading the USSR to a gold medal (and victory over the U.S.A.) at the '88 Seoul Olympics, Marciulionis and Sabonis were poster boys for the Soviet sports machine. Four year later, after the fall of the Soviet Union, they emerged as symbols of democracy, willing newly-independent Lithuania to the medal stand in Barcelona.

The film documents the Lithuanians’ experiences behind the Iron Curtain, where elite athletes were subjected to the vagaries of Communist rule. As they smuggled VCRs on road trips and hid from KGB agents, Lithuania’s basketball stars always shared a common goal - to utilize their athletic gifts to help a nation bloom.

The ’92 Lithuanian team won fans around the world for its hard-nosed play – and also through its unusual connection with the Grateful Dead. Inspired by the Lithuanian team's message of freedom, the Dead provided financial assistance to the Lithuanians and helped create the team's distinctive, tie-dye warm ups.

Lithuania advanced to the medal round in Barcelona, where it faced Russia - Lithuania's oppressor since 1940 - for the bronze. Lithuania emerged victorious, and then rose to the medal stand wearing colorful gear emblazoned with the Dead's signature skeleton logo.

By beating Russia, David had beaten Goliath - and the Lithuanian team had raised the game of basketball into a memorable expression of political and cultural identity.

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Released - Friday, September 28 , 2012
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