“No No: A Dockumentary” is a story of rebellion, shocking actions, but most importantly, perseverance. Dock Ellis was no stranger to controversy. Whether he was showing up to practice with curlers in his hair or infamously pitching a no-hitter while high on LSD, he was the bad boy of the Pittsburgh Pirates and then several other teams. The title of the documentary refers to the no-hitter, but there is a lot more to Dock’s story. Through Dock, we get to see the hidden secrets of a totally different era of baseball. It is pretty surprising to hear of the big name players who used drugs and the wild parties that would’ve gone viral if social media was around. But Dock’s drug and alcohol usage went beyond that, spilling into practices and a very ugly domestic life. This film has a very logical progression, beginning with his pitching abilities and then following a chronological telling of his career. The most important section of this film is the last. This is the story of Dock’s retribution. After the endless controversies and self-destructive nature, he put down the bottle for the final time and entered rehab for his drug addiction. From that point on, Dock devoted his life to helping prison inmates and ballplayers with a career as a drug counselor. The heartfelt testimonies of those whose lives he transformed are poignant and emotionally stirring. Dock may not have been the best role model, but “No No: A Dockumentary” is a lasting image of a man who hit rock bottom and then found retribution by sharing his story with others.
[Pictured: Dock was always at the center of controversy]