‘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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‘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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‘Sassy Player’ (2009) is a trans-gender soccer romp

Sassy Player (2009)

You can look at Sassy Player in two ways: either it’s a screwball comedy, or it’s an LGBT coming of age in Thailand soccer movie. Director Poj Arnon’s film แต วเตะตีนระเบิด is a weird combination of the two genres. The 16 new boys in a formerly all-girls high school are forced to form a school soccer team, even though 6-7 of them would rather be cheerleaders.

The flamboyant queens scream whenever the ball comes towards them, but they hang together enough to arrive at the league championship.

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‘Land of Storms’ (2014) is not very sexy but the football is okay

Land of Storms (Viharsarok)

The easiest way to describe Land of Storms (Viharsarok) is a Hungarian Brokeback Mountain for soccer players. I confess that I watched this movie at 2x speed because of its slow pace and plethora of homophobic violence.

There are also a lot of sex scenes and even a 3-way, but the scenes aren’t very sexy.

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‘Eleven Men Out’ (2005) is not like Iceland at all

Eleven Men Out (2005)

Eleven Men Out is not really a soccer movie. It has 30 seconds of soccer and a lot of sexuality, mostly gay (rated R). As a character says, there is not much else to do in Iceland.

A top player comes out of the closet, switches to a team that has some gays, the straights quit, and the team becomes all gay. They win the league because the other teams forfeit.

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