Football clubs used to publish just a single documentary film about themselves every so often, but now they’ve migrated to massive streaming series. Usually I avoid football club and player movies because I know they are going to amount to a very long marketing video. I made an exception for the Netflix series Sunderland ’Til I Die. And here’s why.
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.
The Class of ’92 started when Gary Neville got his old teammates to agree to make a film about their “Class of ’92”, Alex Ferguson’s young guns who went from youth academy to winning the treble in 1999 (FA Cup, EPL, and Champions League).
Directors and brothers Gabe and Benjamin Turner, owners of production company Fulwell 73, assembled the best integration of soccer player interviews and past game footage that I have seen. They get the players to open up individually and put them together for one day of camaraderie.
In the Hands of the Gods follows five British freestylers over a 6-week odyssey as the young men work their way from London to Argentina to meet Diego Maradona. This documentary is very similar to the movie Pelada, but it has a lot more friction and conflict, because the five have set out on their journey without a plan or money.