Kicking It is a Ted Leonsis production that tries to influence you to do good while whisking you away in a good story. It is “filmanthropy”, according to Leonsis, a billionaire sports team owner, philanthropist, former AOL executive, and media maven.
Leonsis spotted Director Susan Koch $1 million so that she could follow players in 7 teams at the 2006 Homeless World Cup in South Africa.
Unlike Downtown Dawgs, Kicking It is persuasive in presenting the players in a hopeful way that makes you want to help. Different countries are followed to show that homelessness varies in its causes: heroin addiction (Dublin), alcohol (Spain), war (Afghanistan), poverty (Kenya), being an unregistered migrant citizen (Russia), and domestic abuse (USA).
The Homeless World Cup was founded in 2003 on an idea by two journalists (a Scot and an Austrian) that homeless lives could be changed by football. The organization claims that 90% of participants are positively impacted, and 77% go on to change their lives.
The format of the games is 4v4 on a small turf pitch with small goals and 7 minute halves. Teams have a first round-robin and then are placed into similar levels of play. The winner of the top level is the winner of the Homeless World Cup.
The soccer in the movie is so nicely filmed, I really wanted to go out and play afterwards. Kicking It is a prime example of Koch’s belief that
“It is possible to make films that matter and are also entertaining.”– Director Susan Koch
Leonsis’ empire includes SnagFilms, which posted high-quality films online for free viewing but the website ceased operations in Apr-2020.
7 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 7