We Believe, the movie
It isn’t often you see Ernie Banks, Hugh Hefner, Jeff Garlin, Kerry Wood, Mayor Daley, Buddy Guy, Lou Piniella, Ryne Sandberg, and Francis Cardinal George, the archbishop of Chicago, together. They’re all in “We Believe,” and if you’re a loyal Cubs fan, you will appreciate this documentary. The movie will have its Chicago premiere June 12, plus a special showing to the public that night (more on that later).
The film focuses on the powerful relationship between the Cubs, the city of Chicago, and its fans. The crew followed the ballclub last season, the 100th anniversary since the team last won the World Series. Key players from the 2008 team such as Wood, Ryan Theriot, Derrek Lee, Mark DeRosa, Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster and Geovany Soto are all profiled. If you were a fan of Wood or DeRosa, you will miss them even more after seeing this.
There’s the usual discussion about the billy goat curse as well as “Cubby occurrences,” one of Piniella’s phrases. But the film intertwines the Cubs themselves with a history lesson on the ballclub and the city. That may sound dry, but it isn’t — the filmmakers have some unique video, including the earliest known footage of a Cubs game from 1909.
There’s a cool segment on musician Steve Goodman, and the “Go Cubs Go” song. Wood admits he didn’t like it at first, but then found himself humming the tune. The soundtrack is varied and a perfect fit, naturally including Frank Sinatra singing “My Kind of Town.” Among others interviewed are Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Costas, actor Dennis Franz, and George Will.
One of my favorite times at Wrigley Field is early, before anyone arrives, and that was beautifully captured in the film, as well as the loud, enthusiastic devotion by generations of Cubs fans. The city sparkles in this movie.
OK, premier info: There will be a public showing June 12 at 10:30 p.m. CT at the Chicago Theatre. Tickets are limited, and are available at the movie website, webelievethemovie.com, as well as the theater itself, and Ticketmaster. Part of the proceeds will go to Derrek Lee’s Project 3000.
Director John Scheinfeld has been adding interviews as recently as last month (Daley was a late add, for example). The plan is for the movie to be distributed in theaters sometime in July, although exactly where has yet to be determined. They are hoping for a national release. There will be a DVD as well later this summer. We’ll keep you posted.
— Carrie Muskat