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.
Continue reading “‘The Pass’ (2016) keeps its grip from stage to film”
Now that WC 2018 has finished in Russia (Congratulations to Les Bleus!), the eyes of the world turn to WC 2022 in Qatar. But as happened with Russia, the eyes of football fans are blind to the exploitation and corruption that FIFA has facilitated for these two tournaments. The Workers Cup might open your eyes a little, but to me, Adam Sobel’s film normalizes the conditions in Qatar.
Continue reading “‘The Workers Cup’ (2017) normalizes Qatar”
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”
If you follow soccer at all, you probably agree that FIFA is synonymous with corruption.
As we’ve learned since the FIFA Scandal erupted in 2015, much of the income of the so-called “non-profit” went into the pockets and personal bank accounts of its officers and those of the football associations that represent the 209 member nations. For a great summary of 40 years of FIFA corruption, watch Planet FIFA.
Continue reading “The Slavery Side of World Cup Soccer”
Many congratulations to Liverpool FC and their fans for making it back to the Champions League Final in 2018. It makes a great time to enjoy football feature films about Liverpool FC: Reds and Blues, Will, Hillsborough, and now, One Night in Istanbul. There are more I haven’t seen!
Continue reading “‘One Night in Istanbul’ (2014) – another funny film about LFC”
After The Football Factory, I swore I wouldn’t watch any more Hooligan movies. They seem to be a genre of violence, sex, and drugs, with a little bit of football as context. As in, we gotta go to a West Ham game on the way to the violence, sex, and drugs we are going to do.
And I don’t understand why it’s always West Ham hooligans.
Continue reading “In the Hooligan genre: ‘White Collar Hooligan 3’ (2014)”
Whether you are straight or gay, Forbidden Games documents a story that is tough to watch. As his brother John has noted, if Justin Fashanu had been born 30 years later, he would have been a hero. Instead, Justin’s life story is filled with regret from almost all who knew him.
Stop right there, I’m being as misleading as the film. Justin Fashanu would have been a hero today had he simply been a proud gay man, a black man, and a good footballer.
Continue reading “‘Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story’ (2017) overlooks assault”
What’s not to like about Nick Park and Aardman Animations’ Early Man? Apparently it depends on whether your country favors the round or pointy kind of football. Whereas UK reviews are all positive, American reviews included comments as nasty as “Who cares if cavemen could play soccer?”
Continue reading “‘Early Man’ (2018) is a remarkable piece of art and football”
I Scored a Goal in the FIFA World Cup Final is such a hokey title, that I thought this film must be a spoof. But no, it is an ESPN compilation of interviews of the then 33 remaining players who had actually done the deed, up through WC 2010.
Continue reading “Review: ‘I Scored a Goal in the FIFA World Cup Final’ (2010)”
Working with the Bertha Foundation, The Guardian newspaper commissioned 12 short documentaries with global impact. Desert Fire covers a team representing Iraqi Kurdistan at the 2016 ConIFA World Cup.
Continue reading “Stateless teams compete in ‘Desert Fire’ (2016)”
The Streets Don’t Lie is a 3-episode mini-series from the 2017 season of Red Bull TV. Each 27-minute episode follows former French International Djibril Cissé as he travels to London, Berlin, and Paris. In each city, he interviews 3 candidates, from which he selects one player to train with a Red Bull academy for one week.
Continue reading “Review: ‘The Streets Don’t Lie’ (2017)”
Director Daniel Gordon brings different insights to his @ESPN3030 George Best movie, but is the story even relevant today? Players now are too valuable to let fail.
Continue reading “Could ‘George Best: All by Himself’ (2016) happen today?”
For a guy taking his first steps in creating a film, Director Rhys Chapman made all the right moves. He strategically took Wonderkid from awareness campaign, to fund raising, through a 5-day shoot, and then to fruition. All along, his mission was to educate viewers by portraying homophobia and the need to counter it by Being Yourself at the highest levels of British football.
Continue reading “‘Wonderkid’ (2016) has a wondrous film production”
Jack to a King – The Swansea Story is a love song to the supporters of Swansea City AFC, who saved the club from obliteration. Director Marc Evans tells an intricate story of how Swansea survived and then rose to the Premier League.
Continue reading “‘Jack to a King’ (2014) – the fans saved Swansea once upon a time”
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)”