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.
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.
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.
Documentarian Cy Kuckenbaker followed his Peace Corps buddy Jake Wilson to Malawi, where Jake had signed up for a second stint. Wilson’s assignment in Malawi is business development, which he implements by helping the villagers of Zolokere to grow vegetables and then use the proceeds to buy equipment for the town soccer team. The soccer success becomes a double-edge sword in his personal goal to build a brick schoolhouse in the competing village of Khutamaji.
Erison Turay and his mother lost 38 of their relatives to Ebola in Sierra Leone and were left with 15 family orphans to care for. He and his mother overcame their infections, but survivors cannot find jobs and their struggles to live continue on.
Producer Julian Cautherly and Director Victor Buhler began working on their Africa10 film project in advance of WC 2010. Their lofty goal was to show how a passion for soccer encourages development and change in Africa.
But for those in poverty, soccer is more like a winning lottery ticket out of the country to a better life that they have no other means to achieve.
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.
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.