I imagine One Night in Turin is very difficult to watch if you were an England fan during their semi-final shoot-out loss to West Germany in World Cup 1990. Writer-Director James Erskine captures the many emotions and struggles of the country, the coach, the team (including Paul Gascoigne), and its fans. Apparently for some, this film is so dead-on that it causes players to bring back the tears they shed that night in Turin.
Les Arbitres (The Referees) is a French documentary that follows several referees during Euro 2008. Much like the French movie about Zidane, there is no voice over or commentary to the footage as you watch and listen to the communication headsets of top referees while they work the games.
If you care about the biz side of the MLS, and you didn’t experience the NASL, you need to watch Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos. This 2006 documentary reveals the marketing manipulations and public excitement behind the 1970s New York Cosmos.
Kick Like a Girl is a 25-minute HBO documentary that follows a team of 8 year old girls who, having devastated all competition the previous two years, decide to get more challenge by playing in the boys division.
In the Hands of the Gods follows five British freestylers over a 6-week odyssey as the young men work their way from London to Argentina to meet Diego Maradona. This documentary is very similar to the movie Pelada, but it has a lot more friction and conflict, because the five have set out on their journey without a plan or money.
Variously named as the The Art of Soccer with John Cleese or the Art of Football from A to Z, it appears this made for TV film was commissioned by Germany for World Cup 2006. John Cleese pontificates on 26 alphabetical aspects of the game.
Chivas USA: Sí, se puede follows the front office and coach Thomas Rongen as they try to convert a 99-year-old Mexican product (Club Deportivo Guadalajara, aka Chivas Guadalajara) into a successful MLS expansion team.
Unfortunately for viewers who don’t know who Jay DeMerit is, the first-time filmmakers of The Jay DeMerit Story present his history chronologically. So it takes awhile for the non-soccer fan to understand why his story is even worth telling.
Nick Fitzhugh went to South Africa during World Cup 2010 and filmed Soccer City, ostensibly about the impact of soccer on South African culture. He interviewed and followed the lives of various youth players and former National Team members.
Goal Dreams follows the Palestinian National Team in the month leading up to their all-important World Cup 2006 qualifying game against Uzbekistan. The team has many problems to overcome.
They must practice in Egypt and play their game in Qatar, in an empty stadium. Six players cannot exit Gaza until 2 weeks before the game, so at times the early practices only have 5-9 players.
World Cup Car Soccer is a car soccer movie. This is not like Herbie, though. This DVD is JDM Option International Volume 26 and includes a “world championship” of two Japanese teams of 5 cars each playing car soccer (aka Jidousha soccer). I could only watch about 10 minutes of the 75 minute recording, as it got pretty repetitive. They couldn’t establish a winner until only about 3 cars were still drivable.
Lesbianas de Buenos Aires is not really a soccer movie. Neither is it a movie that Howard Sterns would salivate over. It is a documentary of interviews of several unrelated 30ish lesbians.
O Rei Pelé, or Pelé the King, is a good resource, showing Pelé’s life and many goals. As I didn’t become a soccer fan until 1999, I had never seen Pele play except for in the movie Victory.