In France, Footeuses is what female footballers call themselves, the feminine form of Footballeur. Until recently, to be a female footballer was largely an oxymoron: to be female and a football player was not accepted. This changed with the Womens World Cup 2019 in France and the hope that the hosting country’s women would repeat the French mens’ success at WC 2018.
While France lost to the USA in the Quarter-finals, the turnout and support for the women’s team was a huge change in culture. The tournament provided new role models on the world stage for female players.
However, Footeuses is not about those women. Instead, first-time Director Lyna Saoucha (formerly Lyna Malandro) brings a story about female footballers at all levels of the game.
Like her website Vraies Meufs, Saoucha is interested in portraying real women and giving them the opportunity to express themselves as they really are. Thus we learn from 19 year old Inès Beznia her efforts to break into the boys’ street games, to be accepted, and then to surpass them (she is now at Red Star). We learn from long-time PSG player and now ambassador Laure Boulleau about the struggles to be a professional female footballer. We watch a group of older women who are just learning to play; they now love the game and the camaraderie that comes with kicking a ball.
While most of the stories gently describe overcoming barriers, there is also a part to show that the women all have a feminine side. They are still women who can boogie, dance, and who might wear makeup while playing. Footeuses is a good step forward in normalizing women footballers. The more we see real women like this, the more accepted they become.
As with Concrete Football from production company Miles, the play is all street soccer.
7 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 7