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Drama

Why I loved ‘The English Game’ (2020)

The English Game (2020)

A period drama about football is unique. A well-crafted tale in this time of pestilence is a joy and a comfort. The English Game, how football became the people’s game, is elegant soap opera and luscious escapism to a simpler time. Three nights in a row, to close out my shelter-in-place day, I self-administered dollops of this Netflix TV series and then slept deeply, sans souci.

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Drama

‘Egaro’ (2011) a Bengali team chooses football over terrorism

Egaro The Eleven (2011)

The footballing film Egaro (এগারো) takes place in British India in 1911. Subjugated by the English, Bengali natives are second-class citizens in their own country. Some try to succeed by working within the British system, while some are beaten and murdered by police. Some rebel with acts of terrorism. 

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Drama

‘Boisko Bezdomnych’ (2008): a fictional tale of a homeless World Cup team

Boisko Bezdomnych (2008)
The Outsiders (2008)

Sometimes a drama can reveal more about society’s problems than can a documentary. From its Amazon Prime description, it might not catch your eye that, unlike all the other movies on this topic, Boisko Bezdomnych is a dramatic feature film. The idea for the film arose from a Polish team going to the Homeless World Cup.

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Drama

Was ‘Open Up to Me’ (2013) ahead of its time?

Open Up to Me (2013)
Kerron sinulle kaiken (2013)

Open Up to Me is a bit of a mind-bending movie that explores issues of sexuality. I consider it a football film even though the soccer connection is a little weak, as the football provides the normalcy in the story.

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Cultural Drama Suspense

‘Lost in Africa’ (2010) doesn’t flinch

Behind the benign title of Lost in Africa is a thriller that embodies every mother’s worst nightmare: her child vanishes. It’s not really a soccer movie as much as it is a reflection of the hard and dangerous life in Kiera, a Kenyan shanty town. 

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Drama Kids

Alexis Sanchez is a Maravilla in ‘Mi Amigo Alexis’ (2019)

Mi Amigo Alexis (2019)
My Friend Alexis

Mi Amigo Alexis has been released on Netflix in the USA without fanfare. Which is puzzling to me, because this is one of the best and highest-quality family-friendly soccer movies to arrive since Bend it Like Beckham. That being said, My Friend Alexis is not a comedy, not a film where you giggle along with your child while watching. It has some serious themes that you might need to discuss with your child afterwards. 

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Cultural Drama

‘Fintar o Destino’ (1998) is a beautiful time capsule

Fintar o Destino (1998) 
aka Dribbling Fate

Fintar o Destino is a strikingly beautiful film, but not at all in a visual sense. Filmed in standard definition, the story immerses you in Cape Verdean village life and the regrets of Mané (Carlos Germano), a frustrated 50 year old former footballer. He didn’t leave the island when he had the chance, and to defy the taunt of a friend, he uses all his savings to try and recoup his dignity.

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Cultural Drama

‘Sudani from Nigeria’ (2018) flows with life

It’s rare when a director’s first feature film is so thoroughly engaging, especially with a story that, in an elevator pitch, must have seemed so small. But the many close-ups and the actors’ pure performances magnify this story about humanity and bring Sudani from Nigeria home to your heart.

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Drama

‘Morris from America’ (2016) is not a soccer movie

Morris from America (2016)

Morris from America might come up when you search for “soccer movie”. But even though it takes place in Germany, and is ostensibly about a black American soccer coach, the film is not about football and actually has no football in it except as a visual reference. I’m reviewing the film on my website really, just to let you guys know.

Categories
Drama Suspense

‘Lethal Soccer Mom’ (2018): Not Worth Watching in a Lifetime

Lethal Soccer Mom (2018)

The last time I watched a film with Lethal in the title must have been Lethal Weapon 2, 3, 4, or 5. (Is there a Lethal Weapon 5?) I figured Lethal Soccer Mom was a click-bait film that would be a grind to watch.

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Cultural Drama

‘Takim’ (2015): A Film to Smile About

Takim: Mahalle Aşkina!

Writer-Director Emre Sahin and his successful production company Karga7 like to draw stories and real topics from the real world.

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Cultural Drama

‘Shoot’ (2018): an Arab-Arabian football story

Shoot (The Arabian Warrior) (2018)

Shoot languished in my Amazon Prime watchlist because I assumed it was just another foreign film. So I was quite surprised when I started watching it, and almost the first words on the screen were “The first Saudi-American film”.

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Drama Kids

A Costa Rican gem: ‘Buscando a Marcos Ramirez’ (2017)

Buscando a Marcos Ramirez (2017)

I was thoroughly enchanted by Buscando a Marcos Ramírez, the first soccer movie I have seen from Costa Rica. In the story, Marcos’ single mom has named him for the popular eponymous children’s book and given him a love of reading. But when she dies, he must move from the simple countryside to the unwelcoming home of his grandfather in the city of San José, Costa Rica.

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Drama Kids

‘Mi Mundial’ (2017) is a cautionary tale

Mi Mundial (2017)

Mi Mundial is a charming Cinderella-like football tale, except this Cinderella returns to the ashes of his old life. This futbol pelicula is based on the 2010 children’s book of the same name, by former Uruguayan futbolista Daniel Baldi. A prolific author of mostly juvenile books mostly about football, Baldi uses much of his life in his stories, and he made sure that the film stayed true to its origin and message.

Categories
Drama

‘The Pass’ (2016) keeps its grip from stage to film

The Pass (2016)

Retaining its stage heritage, The Pass takes place in 3 hotel rooms at 5 year intervals. On the eve of a Champions League game, 2 young footballer teammates share a gay encounter that shapes their subsequent careers.

Five years later, Jason (Russell Tovey) is an EPL star going through a divorce and uses a table dancer to disprove gay rumors. In another 5 years, Jason is without a club and invites his old teammate Ade (Arinzé Kene) to his hotel room for a reunion. Still passing as straight, perhaps even Jason doesn’t know why he has sought out Ade after a 10-year silence.