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Debate Team

Debate Team is a documentary exploring the weird subculture of competitive college debate. Competitors battle at 360 words per minute, hauling around mountains of evidence called “cards” and nearly every debate ends in global nuclear annihilation.

In 2005, nearly 200 teams converged on San Francisco State to compete in the National Championship. The documentary follows four teams, from Michigan State, Harvard, West Georgia, and Berkeley in their quest for the national title.

What emerges is not simply a chronicle of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, but a more disturbing examination into the nature of competition itself and the American fetish with championships and champions.

Debate Team is sponsored by Film Arts.

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