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September 26, 2003 - Image 129

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-26

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Filmmakers Ron Berger and Dan Klores

Road

teeth in his mouth, his nose was
bashed in, he wore a suit that looked
like he hadn't worn it in 20 years,
and he just looked like a beaten
down man."
Klores got Satin an attorney, a
dentist, an apartment and a job
driving a taxi, but he, too, felt beat-
en down. Around 1980, he had
given up his first love, writing, for
PR, eventually landing clients such
as Jennifer Lopez and Donald
Trump. "But I never liked it," he
said from his Long Island beach
home.
"In spite of my success,.PR never
gave me the feeling of satisfaction
I'd had writing a book or a magazine
piece. For 20 years, I hadn't used my
creativity to express myself, and I
felt trapped and frustrated."
As Klores pondered how to solve
his dilemma, his thoughts turned to
Satin and the other Jewish boys with
whom he had shot hoops in
Brighton Beach. He decided to
make a film not about his rich and
powerful clients, but about the
friends of his youth.
"I knew this could be a good story
because so many different things
had happened to people," said. the
soft-spoken Klores, sounding more
like an introvert than a schmoozer.
"You have a group of guys, and
one is homeless, one wins a $45 mil-
lion lottery, two lose their children,
and one lives without electricity or
running water in Woodstock, N.Y."
According to Satin, now a chemi-
cal engineer, the film works because
Klores did the interviews. "We
opened up to him because we trust-
ed him," he said. "Dan may not
physically be in the movie, but it's
really his story, too. He has the same
background and he was there with
us.''
Like the other "boys," ,3-year-old

Klores grew up in a one-bedroom
apartment, 30 yards from the "el,"
sharing a bedroom with his brother
while his parents slept on a convert-
ible couch in the living room.
The 2nd Street Park provided a
refuge from the cramped quarters
and from the tedium of religious
school: "Even on the High Holidays
we'd sneak away and shoot hoops in
our sports jackets," he said.
Klores' parents, meanwhile, had
ambitious plans for their eldest son.
"The mantra was, All we want for
you is to do better than us,' which is
one of the things I reacted against,"
he said.
The perceived pressure to excel
did just the opposite; by the 10th
grade Klores had become fiercely
rebellious. "I was the perfect candi-
date for the counterculture," he said.
"I was alienated and angry and all of
a sudden, everyone was alienated
and angry."
Klores said he failed classes, cut
school and began using drugs at age
17. With Satin and some of the
other "boys," he grew his hair long,
spent weekends at an upstate New
York farm and took road trips in a
VW van.
The change came in 1973. "I had
been arrested a number of times, for
drugs and stuff, and I woke up one
day and I said, 'Whoa, wait a sec-
ond,'" he recalled.
Mores quit drugs, finished school
and landed his first real job, at 29,
writing political ads for $100 a week
plus a bottle of Scotch. He went on
to write a book on the popular cul-
ture of college basketball and to
freelance for publications such as
New York magazine; he switched to
PR for a steady paycheck around

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2003

121

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