Megan went to Zanzibar and was looking for a pickup game. She found a women’s team called the New Generation Queens. They were getting chased off fields because Zanzibar is 99% Muslim, and women aren’t supposed to play football. But they prevail, and this pleasant little film, with an ethnographic story and a long title, generated even more questions after I viewed it.Continue reading “‘New Generation Queens’ (2015) – when women can’t play football”
As told to Director Maya Zinshtein, what goes on in a stadium is not just a mirror of society, but indicates the direction society is going.
Forever Pure is a uniquely panoptic film of soccer and society. We see that football clubs can be a toy for oligarchs, a tool for politicians, a burning torch for militant supporters groups, a trauma for its players and staff, and a testament that the good guys don’t always win.Continue reading “In ‘Forever Pure’ (2016) it hurts to watch the bad guys win”
During the month the 2010 World Cup is played in South Africa, Director Benjamin Kahlmeyer shows the life that goes on, meanwhile, in the impoverished township of Mamelodi. The township is only 16 miles from Loftus Stadium, but residents’ interaction is mostly limited to buying noisy vuvuzuelas and enjoying Bafana Bafana’s games on small black and white TVs.Continue reading “The poverty around WC 2010 is ‘Meanwhile in Mamelodi’ (2011)”
In Turkey, Supporters Groups are the real fans, and everyone else is just a spectator. Filmmakers Naz Gündogdu and Friedemann Pitschak have documented a life that Americans have not yet experienced: being a fan in the face of political oppression.Continue reading “Turkish fans under oppression in ‘Ayaktakimi’ (2015)”
Men in the Arena comes to your screen in the time of the xenophobic Trump Administration. It took over 3 years for Writer-Director J.R. Biersmith to deliver his tale of 2 young Somalian footballers, whose steadfast friendship and soccer skills are crucial in bringing them to the USA.Continue reading “Being ‘Men in The Arena’ (2017) helps exit Somalia”
Les Bleus: Another History of France maps the French football team performance with the nation’s social struggles from 1996-2016. But does the film convey an implicit bias? It is unique in that it does not whitewash the team’s history, and it leaves much to think about.Continue reading “[Review] Les Bleus: Une Autre Histoire de France (2016)”
Jay Baruchel and Eoin O’Callaghan drive across Ireland in search of Jay’s Irish roots and their shared Celtic Soul. It’s a self-described collection of lovely moments tied together within the larger context of what it means to be an immigrant, to be Irish, and to be a fan of Celtic FC.Continue reading “A buddy trip through Ireland and its ‘Celtic Soul’ (2016)”
Campo de Jogo (Sunday Ball) is a kinematic metaphor for Brazilian soccer. Director Eryk Rocha lays bare the intense emotions of favela futebol. He assembles a film that is both documentary and cinematic art. It was shown at New York’s MOMA and is similar to, but much better than, the 2006 art piece on Zidane.Continue reading “The frenzy of favela futebol in ‘Campo de Jogo’ (2014)”
Inshallah, Football touched me, but I wasn’t sure why I felt that way. The answer was so complex, it took me 3 days to research and understand Director Ashvin Kumar’s persuasive documentary about the decades of conflict in Indian administered Kashmir, aka Jammu and Kashmir.Continue reading “‘Inshallah, Football’ (2010) explains India’s Kashmiri situation”
In their Pelé biopic, Directors Jeffrey and Michael Zimbalist create a loving, lush, and longish ode to the Beautiful Game of Brazil. If you sit back and absorb, there is a lot to enjoy. But it might be the kind of movie that only a soccer fan can love.Continue reading “[Review] Pelé: Birth of a Legend (2016)”
In the Game is a moving ethnographic study that captures both the hope and the hope deferred of girls on a high school soccer team. It is a great video example of how sports, taught by a coach with an unwavering positive attitude, can have a meaningful impact on girls of low-SES (low socioeconomic status).Continue reading “‘In the Game’ (2015) a Chicago ethnographic study”
Baghdad Messi is a heartbreaking 19 minute short film that recently became available on Amazon Prime. The film was just shy of the final cut of nominees for Live Action Short Film of the 2014 Academy Awards.
Erison Turay and his mother lost 38 of their relatives to Ebola in Sierra Leone and were left with 15 family orphans to care for. He and his mother overcame their infections, but survivors cannot find jobs and their struggles to live continue on.Continue reading “‘Surviving and Soccer in Sierra Leone’ (2015) – an Ebola story”
A Dane who spent time in a Tibetan monastery, Michael Nybrandt realizes his dream to organize an international match between Tibet and Greenland. Neither team is recognized by FIFA.
China tries to block the game because Tibet is part of China. Greenland’s own application to join FIFA could be jeopardized by playing.Continue reading “Tibet is ‘The Forbidden Team’ (2003) in the eyes of FIFA”
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.Continue reading “‘American Pharaoh’ (2014) too often feels like a home movie”