Categories
Documentary

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

LFG (2021)
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)

Real Kashmir FC logo
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.

Categories
Documentary

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

The Celtic Boys Club Scandal (2021)
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.

Categories
Documentary

‘Captains of Zaatari’ (2021) raises awareness that refugees deserve opportunity

Captains of Zaatari (2021)
Captains of Zaatari (2021)

Imagine a film where Cinderella goes to the ball, has her magical moment, and then returns to the cinders to make the best of her life as a servant to a cruel family. If you know Cinderella, you know she is resilient, and she will keep singing and will find friendly relationships to sustain her, even if they are only animal friends.

Categories
Documentary

‘Pelé’ (2021) – the game that made Pelé cry

Pelé (2021)
Pelé (2021)

The Netflix documentary Pelé has all the makings of a prestige film: a man known as the greatest footballer in the world, the only player to have won 3 World Cups, and celebrity in the historical context of a brutal dictatorship. The twist in the story is that you see an aged man at his most physically vulnerable, who cries at remembering all the pressure he withstood to make his fans happy.

Categories
Documentary

‘Fixed!’ (2020) – how to play the match-fixing game

Fixed, a Football Comedy (2020)
Fixed, a Football Comedy (2020)

Once you’ve served prison time for match fixing, what is the easiest way to keep making money? Claim yourself notorious, become a consultant, and get paid to give interviews about corruption in FIFA. 

The story of match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal first broke in 2010, when as a FIFA Match Agent, Perumal arranged an international friendly between Bahrain and a fake team from Togo. The resulting outrage brought the match-fixing to light.

Categories
Documentary

‘In Search of Greatness’ (2018), born from creativity

In Search of Greatness (2018)
In Search of Greatness (2018)

If we study the Great Ones of sport, we find there are many contributing factors to their success: motivation, competitiveness, mentors, resilience, discipline, talent, and luck. Writer-Director Gabe Polsky gives us examples of all that and adds one more trait, creativity, that extends across music, art, and other disciplines.

Categories
Documentary

‘Elite School’ (2014) a view of a German football academy

Elite School (2014) also known as Die Kaderschmiede: der traum vom profi-fussball
Elite School (2014) also known as Die Kaderschmiede: der traum vom profi-fussball

A Kaderschmiede is an elite training center, school, or academy, and in the case of Karlsruher SC, its purpose is to create a cadre of skilled footballers. Writer-Director Juana Guschl followed the club’s youth players for the 2013-2014 season and submitted this film for graduation from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2014.

Categories
Documentary

Strive to be as ‘Unbreakable’ (2019) as Steve Zakuani

Unbreakable (2019)

Unbreakable: The Steve Zakuani Story is an extremely well-made documentary of a man reviewing his chance hit footballing career that ended just short of meteoric. By telling his story, Steve Zakuani hopes to convince every young teenager that they can be at rock bottom but still rise again and ultimately give back.

Categories
Documentary

‘Gascoigne’ (2015) is a warts-free view

Gascoigne (2015)

Should viewers accept a film that focuses on the good side of one of England’s most talented players, who is also a wife-beater, an alcoholic, and a cocaine-addict? Apparently, some reviewers could not, assessing this Paul Gascoigne documentary as the ultimate vanity project (The Telegraph) and ignoring the elephants in the room (Timeout).

Categories
Documentary

‘Iron Men’ (2017) – it ain’t the stadium, it’s the people

Iron Men (2017)

People will travel to see something unique: centuries old castles and cathedrals, or even an old football stadium with 100 years of tradition and raucous, rabid, singing West Ham fans. Iron Men brings us the story of these fans, whose club moved from their 104 year old Boleyn Ground to the former Olympic Stadium.

Categories
Documentary

‘The El Paso Conquest’ (2014) is an honest film

The El Paso Conquest (2014)

Feature length sports documentaries about real high school teams commonly focus on a theme of social good. In contrast, The El Paso Conquest covers the boys soccer team at Del Valle High School in El Paso, Texas in it ups and downs, but it avoids social themes.

Categories
Documentary

QPR and the Mumbai Challenge try to wake a ‘Sleeping Giant’ (2012)

Sleeping Giant (2012)

Sleeping Giant sat in my Amazon watchlist for 2-3 years, and now I’m quite sorry I so neglected this documentary. Director Daniel Glynn follows two U14 boys from South Mumbai, who are selected via a tournament to receive 6 weeks of football training at QPR.

Categories
Documentary

Glamour and goals for the Giallorossi in ‘Roma Story: Edin Džeko’ (2020)

Roma Story - Edin Džeko (2020)

If you know who Edin Džeko is, do you need to watch this movie? If you don’t know who he is, should you watch this movie? My answers are yes and no.

Categories
Documentary

‘Argentina Fútbol Club’ (2010) es soporific

Argentina Fútbol Club (2010)

I had trouble understanding the title of Argentina Fútbol Club. This is not the name of an actual club, and the documentary describes itself as a brief chronicle of the rivalry between Argentine clubs Boca and River Plate.