A fine start, though, is the new movie “Sugar” — a bittersweet look at the familiar baseball dream through Dominican eyes. The Dominican Republic has, in recent years, been Major League baseball’s mother lode. And to the young Dominicans, of course, America is the mother lode. Boys on the island dream of getting out and — just like Pedro Martinez or Albert Pujols or “Big Papi” David Ortiz — making it to the bigs and to its cathedral, Yankee Stadium. Or if not all the way, at least far enough along baseball’s highway to afford a new home for mom.
With a gently observant eye more on the lookout for revelatory cultural detail and emotional truth than for melodramatic excitement, "Sugar" intriguingly draws the curtain back on the seldom considered world of Dominican baseball players trying to make it in the United States. Sympathetic, genial and exceedingly wholesome, it's a film that, once seen, will permanently and favorably influence the way viewers regard the characters' real-life counterparts. HBO Films offering will be well received wherever it plays, notably in Latin America; expansion beyond highly specialized situations in Stateside theatrical release would be daunting.
Sugar was shot in Iowa, where the lead character Azucar settles to play single-A ball. From the Screenwriting from Iowa blog:
The filmmakers of Sugar shot much of the film in Davenport, Iowa and the surrounding Quad Cities and were one of the first to take advantage of recent tax incentives for filmmakers who spend over $100,000 in the state.
Earlier this month Iowa Governor Chet Culver in speaking about Iowa’s commitment to helping filmmakers said, “Iowa has a lot to offer the film industry and, quite frankly, we want more movies filmed in our state. As a television or motion picture producer with the greatest of expectations, in Iowa, you can find it all. The new film tax credit and training award send a clear signal to Hollywood: Iowa is camera-ready and open for business.”
Thanks to Debbie Sobeloff for the heads up about this, who liked it when she saw it in DC because it "treated all of the characters with dignity". I don't know of any local Ann Arbor show times (not that I ever get out to the movies....)