American Pharaoh is Hossam Aboul-Magd’s first shot at directing and is a 60 minute documentary for PBS. Hossam is a one-man film crew, following Bradley and his wife Lindsay during their 2 year residency in Cairo. He became their friend, and perhaps that is why the film is so weak.
It is mostly a simple timeline and often feels like home movie footage, e.g., watching Lindsay Bradley watch a game on TV, or sitting with her in the stands. Hossam includes news footage from the riots and political opinions from a few Egyptians, but mostly, American Pharaoh feels amateurish. You know you are in for bad time when a film starts with
“I’m Bob Bradley, Manager of the Egyptian National Team, and this is my story.”– Coach Bob Bradley
I haven’t found any articles explaining why or how two documentaries about Bob Bradley in Egypt were shot at the same time. We Must Go is the much better film. However, Hossam’s film covers some additional information:
- Emphasizes that Bradley is popular with and well-respected by Egyptians
- Zak Abdel is the GK coach and a former player for Egypt. He had coached with Bradley with Chivas and the USMNT. Zak translates for Bradley.
4 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 4