‘The Pass’ (2016) keeps its grip from stage to film

The Pass (2016)

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.

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‘The Workers Cup’ (2017) normalizes Qatar

The Workers Cup (2017)

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.

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‘Soka Afrika’ (2011): well-meaning but misinformed

Soka Afrika (2011)

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.

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The Slavery Side of World Cup Soccer

Qatar Logo in Chains

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.
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In the Hooligan genre: ‘White Collar Hooligan 3’ (2014)

White Collar Hooligan 3 (2014)

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.

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‘Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story’ (2017) overlooks assault

Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story (2017)

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.

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‘Wonderkid’ (2016) has a wondrous film production

Wonderkid (2016)

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.

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