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Documentary

[Review] ‘Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me’ (2020)

Long ago, in a league far away, John Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand. At a time when England’s FA was beginning to crack down on racism in the sport, John Terry became the first footballer to go on trial for directing racial slurs at an opponent during a game. The charges were not brought forward by Anton Ferdinand, but by a QPR fan.

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Documentary

‘All or Nothing: Arsenal’ (2022) is All Arteta

Like its predecessor All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspurs, which focused on José Mourinho, the Arsenal series focuses on the equally good-looking manager Mikel Arteta during the 2021-2022 season. I’m not sure why anyone other than an Arsenal fan would want to watch this series.

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Documentary

Review: ‘Bilardo, the Soccer Doctor’ (2022)

Having reviewed so many Maradona films and series, I was sorely confused when I began to watch the Argentine docuseries Bilardo, el doctor del fútbol.  In all the Maradona shows I’ve seen, coach Carlos Bilardo is portrayed as a very minor but unpleasant character, someone who calls the shots for the Argentina NT but otherwise is buried in the background. So for me, this 4-episode HBOMax docuseries is a soccer revelation that thoroughly describes the man behind Maradona’s success.

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Documentary

How should ‘Rooney’ (2022) be remembered?

There are several things to like about the Wayne Rooney documentary. First of all, it’s only 1 hour and 43 minutes. While that’s 13 minutes longer than it should have been, it’s better than having to watch Wayne, Coleen and the kids play bored games in a long drawn-out series that searches for instagram moments.

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Documentary

‘The Pogmentary’ (2022) deserves its 1.8 rating on IMDB

I’m grumpy. This is my first review in months, and I’m writing about Le PogmentaireThe Pogmentary — a 5-episode Amazon series on Paul Pogba that has no purpose other than branding. Save yourself a few hours and just watch the trailer — that’s pretty much the whole show.

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Documentary

Review – ‘Neymar: The Perfect Chaos’ (2022)

Before watching this Netflix docuseries on Neymar, I knew little about the Brazilian who was supposed to be the next Pelé. I’ve probably seen more memes of Neymar than I’ve seen him play.

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Documentary

Is ‘The Holy Game’ (2021) sportswashing

Director Brent Hodge did not intend to make a film about why men enter the Catholic priesthood. At the outset, he and co-director Chris Kelly thought their film would be a comedic pop culture documentary, a movie genre niche that is Hodge’s specialty. They envisioned fat friars sweating in the Vatican-sponsored football tournament known as The Clericus Cup.

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Documentary

‘The Rescue’ (2021) may be the best

The last film from Elizabeth Chai Vasarhely and Jimmy Chin was the Oscar-winning, bone-chilling Free Solo. National Geographic handed them the reins to tell the story of what is commonly known as the Thai cave rescue. Once again, the Director duo deliver a pulsating story about men who pursue a death-defying sport, except this time the hobby enables the saving of 13 lives.

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Documentary

‘Maradona in Mexico’ (2019) is his saving grace

Amongst many other themes, the Netflix series Maradona in Mexico is about coaching and the power of belief. British Director Angus Macqueen follows Diego Maradona, the players and the staff of Dorados de Sinoloa, a second division club that hopes to be promoted to LigaMX in its 2018-2019 season.

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Documentary

Review: ‘Otra forma de entender la vida’ (2021)

What does it take to win your league during a pandemic? In this documentary, the answer is to tackle one game at a time: partido a partido. What does it mean to win your league during a pandemic? Just as much as winning during a regular season. Maybe a great deal more, because the stakes are so much higher on and off the pitch.

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Documentary Short

Paloma Freestyle: ‘All I Need is a Ball’ (2020)

Paloma Pujol is on a mission in Madrid. She is a world class, professional female freestyler. But amongst 100 freestylers in Spain, she is the only female. Paloma sets out to change that.

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Documentary

Will there be more ‘Men of Hope’ (2019)

Afghanistan has been in a state of civil war since 1992. For almost 30 years, lives have been violently torn apart by the Taliban, ISIS/ISIL, Pakistan, and the USA. So why is this film titled Men of Hope? Because when Afghans can watch their National Team play, it brings hope to locals, migrants, and refugees, that the homeland can return to normalcy.

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Documentary

At least the soccer is great in ‘LFG’ (2021)

LFG,  the new documentary on HBOMax, is about a mission that is right and just. From other reviews on this website, you know that I am 100% behind the USWNT’s fight for equal pay. But LFG (Let’s F**king Go!) is in some ways a disservice to the cause, because the film is too long and becomes boring. The first rule of soccer movies should be: Don’t take more than 90 minutes to tell your story.

Categories
Cultural Documentary

There’s real coaching at ‘Real Kashmir FC’ (2019)

Greg Clark’s documentary Real Kashmir FC makes you wonder if being a football coach is a career, a calling, or a sheer act of stubbornness. In the case of former Rangers player David Robertson, it appears to be a tasty stew of all three.

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Documentary

Searching for Justice – ‘The Celtic Boys Club Scandal’ (2021)

Child sexual abuse is a topic that society sweeps under the rug, even though the effects on its victims and their families are lifelong. When child sexual abuse happens within an organization’s purview, it is a huge liability for which many deny responsibility.