Streetball is not just another homeless world cup film, it is the best of its genre. Despite being 10 years old, this documentary is fresh, vibrant, and still relevant in its reflection of the world today. Streetball also stands out as one of the few homeless world cup (HWC) films where the soccer is as engaging as the stories of the people.Continue reading “Streetball (2010) best Homeless World Cup soccer movie”
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.Continue reading “‘Lost in Africa’ (2010) doesn’t flinch”
If you are looking for a great idea for a soccer movie, you should buy the rights to this 10 year old documentary The Team That Never Played. Gather up the players interviewed by Writer-Director Greg Appel and fill out their stories while they can still be recalled. This is history that deserves to be retold on a bigger stage and preserved by more than word of mouth.Continue reading “The story you never heard about ‘The Team That Never Played’ (2010)”
It’s hard to believe that in Sep-2018, two movies were released with the title Funke. This review is about the Nigerian feature film directed by Filmboyz Yemi Morafa and Friday Nwagwu. The other film is a documentary on Los Angeles restauranteur Evan Funke.Continue reading “‘Funke!’ (2018) is an Interesting view of Nigerian life”
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.Continue reading “‘Fintar o Destino’ (1998) is a beautiful time capsule”
The problem of human trafficking through football, also known as football trafficking, has been covered in the media for almost 10 years. In Soka Afrika, Suridh Hassan puts together a sensitive portrayal of 2 teenage footballers trying to make a career in Europe in 2009. However, I do not recommend this documentary because it puts a good face on bad agents and furthers the myth of sports as a key way out of poverty.Continue reading “‘Soka Afrika’ (2011): well-meaning but misinformed”
Megan went to Zanzibar and was looking for a pickup game. She found a women’s team called the New Generation Queens. They were getting chased off fields because Zanzibar is 99% Muslim, and women aren’t supposed to play football. But they prevail, and this pleasant little film, with an ethnographic story and a long title, generated even more questions after I viewed it.Continue reading “‘New Generation Queens’ (2015) – when women can’t play football”
First-time Director Pablo de la Chica initially set out to make a documentary about the young Ugandan players who had a chance to visit FC Barcelona in 2007. While investigating, de la Chica found Mubiru Reagan playing soccer in a garbage dump near the Mandela National Stadium.
The landfill is heavy with the toxic smell of burned plastic, but Reagan plays joyously while wearing a Fernando Torres jersey. Reagan is only 5 years old, but his skill, confidence, and positivity make him the leading goalscorer.Continue reading “Football is medicine for ‘The Other Kids’ (2016)”
During the month the 2010 World Cup is played in South Africa, Director Benjamin Kahlmeyer shows the life that goes on, meanwhile, in the impoverished township of Mamelodi. The township is only 16 miles from Loftus Stadium, but residents’ interaction is mostly limited to buying noisy vuvuzuelas and enjoying Bafana Bafana’s games on small black and white TVs.Continue reading “The poverty around WC 2010 is ‘Meanwhile in Mamelodi’ (2011)”
Men in the Arena comes to your screen in the time of the xenophobic Trump Administration. It took over 3 years for Writer-Director J.R. Biersmith to deliver his tale of 2 young Somalian footballers, whose steadfast friendship and soccer skills are crucial in bringing them to the USA.Continue reading “Being ‘Men in The Arena’ (2017) helps exit Somalia”
Part travelogue, part cultural anthropology, and part football history, Director Richard Shepherd’s film Laduma! Benin’s Journey captures an insider’s view as a small African nation tries to qualify for WC 2010.Continue reading “Trying to qualify for WC 2010 in ‘Laduma! Benin’s Journey’ (2011)”
As much as I like parts of the film Eighteam, much of it circumnavigates the tragic plane crash that killed almost the entire Zambian National Team on April 27, 1993, off the coast of Gabon.Continue reading “Remembering the Zambian National Team in ‘Eighteam’ (2014)”
I Play Soccer is a 6-minute short film about the Sierra Leone football academy run by the Craig Bellamy Foundation. By Stefan Lovgren, the film is more advertising than documentary. Like many soccer movies, I learned more from researching the subject than watching this film.Continue reading “‘I Play Soccer’ (2011) at a Sierra Leone academy”
Originally titled Fahrenheit 2010, this film provides reams of detail on the issues and controversy around hosting the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In Nov-Dec 2008, first-time Director Craig Tanner interviews leaders on both sides in the country.
Watching the BBC documentary Coach Zoran and his African Tigers is like watching a train wreck, where the runaway locomotive is the Serbian coach of the new South Sudan national team.