For Better or Worse
RODMAN: FOR BETTER OR WORSE is an ESPN “30 for 30” documentary offering the unfettered and definitive look at the life and career of Dennis Rodman. The film, directed by Emmy-winning director Todd Kapostasy and narrated by Jamie Foxx, premiered on September 10, 2019, on ESPN.
Beginning in Dallas, where Rodman and his family members recall a difficult and often uncomfortable childhood, the film traces his improbable rise from an at times homeless, teenaged airport janitor whose belated, extraordinary growth spurt propels him to small school stardom at Southeastern Oklahoma State, and then to the Detroit Pistons as a second-round NBA draft selection. In the pros, Rodman first becomes a role player for the future back-to-back champions before emerging as the league’s best rebounder — and perhaps the most iconoclastic figure in basketball history. From Detroit to San Antonio to Chicago, from his appearance and his antics to his brilliance and his exuberance, Rodman crafts a Hall of Fame career on his way to winning five NBA titles in all. Various media figures, friends, family, coaches and former teammates are interviewed for the film including Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, David Robinson, Bill Laimbeer, Phil Jackson, John Salley and many others.
On the basketball court and beyond, the story of Rodman is a study of the power and perils of fame, and how complicated identity can be. Rodman’s revealing interview throughout the film is central to the documentary as Kapostasy explores his exploits and accomplishments, creating an unflinching look at the costs and realities of the path he’s taken. He opens up about personal relationships, his career highs and lows, and his foray into international diplomacy through his relationship with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.
Kapostasy is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning director and producer. In 2016 he wrote and directed a documentary on the Chicago Cubs, “Confessions of a Cubs Fan,” and a year later, “Making Tar Wars,” a documentary on the story of George Brett’s pine tarred bat. In 2018, Kapostasy premiered his short film “Run” at the Tribeca Film Festival, the story of Robert Young, an ultra-marathon runner attempting to set a record by running across the United States amid allegations of fraud.
Five All in the Fifth’s Douglas Banker serves as Executive Producer alongside Foxx and Mike Hughes and Greg C. Lake of DLP Media Group.
Behind-the-scenes photos courtesy Sam Aiken.
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