This documentary follows a pair of collegiate players who, unable to make a pro soccer team, channel their competitive-soccer addiction by traveling the world looking for Pelada — not a drug, but a Brazilian word for pick-up game.Continue reading “Traveling the world to play pickup ‘Pelada’ (2010)”
For its 30th anniversary, ESPN commissioned 30 respected filmmakers to produce 30 documentaries on the impact of sports on society. 30 for 30: The Two Escobars is the fascinating story of player Andrés Escobar and druglord Pablo Escobar.
Andrés Escobar, captain of the Colombian national team, gave up the own goal against the USA in the 1994 World Cup and was shot to death 10 days later in his hometown.Continue reading “‘The Two Escobars’ (2010) explains narco-fútbol”
The HBO documentary Dare to Dream: The Story of the US Womens Soccer Team faithfully captures the build up and heartbreak that is US Soccer’s Womens National Team (USWNT). If you are a fan, you need to watch this film. If you watched it when it first came out in 2005 (like I did), you need to watch it again.Continue reading “The 99ers and their ‘Dare to Dream’ (2005)”
The History of Soccer is a terrific compilation of facts and videos. I originally got the first disk from Netflix, and then I found the whole 7-disk set at my library. I’ve often felt clueless when soccer commentator Christopher Sullivan rhapsodized about some historical player during a game, e.g. comparing someone to a Garrincha or a Di Stefano. So now I finally understand the meaning of those names and what they accomplished.Continue reading “Guy Oliver covers ‘History of Soccer’ (2001) up to the year 2000”
If you watched the end of the 2011-2012 EPL season, you saw the spoiler role QPR almost played in Manchester City’s league championship. And if that were all you knew about Queens Park Rangers, you would have assumed The Four Year Plan was some kind of feel-good Moneyball success story. It’s not.Continue reading “‘The Four Year Plan’ (2011) may make you hate QPR”
Soccer’s Lost Boys is an evocative documentary about soccer trafficking in Africa. Vanguard correspondent Mariana van Zeller interviews players, parents, and coaches to show how West African families hand over life savings to agents who promise a tryout in Europe.Continue reading “Football trafficking in ‘Soccer’s Lost Boys’ (2010)”
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.Continue reading “‘One Night in Turin’ (2010) so vivid it makes people cry again”
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.Continue reading “See what it takes to be a FIFA referee in ‘Les Arbitres’ (2009)”
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.Continue reading “Review: ‘Once in a Lifetime – NY Cosmos’ (2006)”
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.Continue reading “‘Kick Like a Girl’ (2008) is full of positive role models”
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.Continue reading “‘In the Hands of the Gods’ (2007) first docu from Fulwell 73”
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.Continue reading “Review: The Art of Soccer with John Cleese (2006)”
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.Continue reading “The rough start for ‘Chivas USA: Sí, se puede’ (2005)”
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.Continue reading “‘Soccer City’ (2010) lacks passion for the game”