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.
Last month, I reviewed Zebras, a low-budget documentary which followed the Argentine boys team that competed in the 2014 Street Kids World Cup in Brazil. StreetKids United 2: The Girls of Rio is a slicker production by Director Maria Clara, following a team of girls from Rio who compete in the same tournament,
Sometimes a drama can reveal more about society’s problems than can a documentary. From its Amazon Prime description, it might not catch your eye that, unlike all the other movies on this topic, Boisko Bezdomnych is a dramatic feature film. The idea for the film arose from a Polish team going to the Homeless World Cup.
While the title Zebras may confuse you, this documentary is about 9 Argentine boys who represent their country in the Apr-2014 Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. The boys live together in La Casita, a home that takes children off the streets of Buenos Aires. By participating in the tournament, the boys experience travel and learn aspects of teamwork and personal responsibility.
The following soccer movies and football films are all documentaries that show how sport can result in social change. The players are all homeless and join teams to try and qualify for the Homeless World Cup. The discipline of teamwork helps get some of the players off the street.
All of these films will make you think.
To learn about an organization making phenomenal progress working for social change in San Francisco through soccer, visit Bay Area Street Soccer USA. I sponsored my son’s team in their Jul-2016 tournament. We had great fun watching this 4v4 format on a hard court.
Update Sep-6-2016: this was a page that I have migrated to a post.
At first, I thought Street Soccer: New York was almost too slick, like a pure marketing video for Street Soccer USA (SSUSA). SSUSA hosts the US qualifying tournament for the Homeless World Cup. But then I learned how the film came together.
Kicking It is a Ted Leonsis production that tries to influence you to do good while whisking you away in a good story. It is “filmanthropy”, according to Leonsis, a billionaire sports team owner, philanthropist, former AOL executive, and media maven.
Leonsis spotted Director Susan Koch $1 million so that she could follow players in 7 teams at the 2006 Homeless World Cup in South Africa.
Brothers Kevin and Mike Scullion originally intended to create a fictional movie about homeless men joining a soccer team. Instead, they ended up documenting the Downtown Dawgs’ journey from a Calgary drop-in shelter to the 2010 Homeless World Cup in South Africa.