Ultras of Egypt is one of those powerful films where, I watched it in the beginning of the pandemic and it made me so sad, I couldn’t write the review. The filmmakers interview participants from the Arab Spring of 2011, who refer to the 18-day protest in Tahrir Square as The Revolution.
Having already reviewed Fulwell 73’s feature-length film Super Greed (2022), it took me a long time to get around to watching the 4-episode mini-series Super League: The War for Football. After all, how much more does anyone care to learn about a bunch of billionaires for whom football is strictly business. But Oh, what a mistake if I had never watched this Apple TV series. It is a masterpiece.
Sometimes to get people to pay attention to your message, you have to do something radical. Like have 30 women climb Kilimanjaro and play an official soccer match at an altitude of 18,800 feet.
High school sports often serve as the film setting for a great divide: between rich and poor, Black and White, or urban versus rural. Maybe the greatest high school sports drama is Denzel Washington’s Remember the Titans (2000), where in the racist South, a Black coach and Black and White co-captains unite a newly integrated pointy football team.
Super Greed: The Fight for Football is the first faithful cinematic telling of the 48-hour debacle known as the European Super League (ESL). It will not be the last.
Looking back to Apr-2021, you might recall the Super League with blurry pandemic memories. But because this documentary is from Fulwell73 and Sky Sports, whose business is to cater to football fans, it is hard-hitting and helps us relive the anguish of those few days. It really is like rubbing an enormous pimple on the foreheads of 12 billionaires, and it is so satisfying when the zits pop.
The Netflix documentary Pelé has all the makings of a prestige film: a man known as the greatest footballer in the world, the only player to have won 3 World Cups, and celebrity in the historical context of a brutal dictatorship. The twist in the story is that you see an aged man at his most physically vulnerable, who cries at remembering all the pressure he withstood to make his fans happy.
Sikandar opens with the activities of a small Muslim village in a beautiful mountainous setting. As school lets out, children stream downhill to the market plaza. A child spies a loose soccer ball, kicks it, and it explodes, blowing apart everything and everyone in the plaza. Welcome to routine life in Kashmir.
Many have compared Cold Sweat with the 2006 feature Offside, which is perhaps the most famous soccer movie out of Iran. But to do so is a crime, even though both dramas are about women trying to exercise simple human rights that are denied to them in Iran.
Soviet Football – The Untold Story came out just before the 2018 World Cup was held in Russia. This great little documentary needs to be required viewing for every soccer pundit, professional or amateur. French Writer-Director Nicolas Jallot provides everything you need to know about Soviet football (советского футбола) history in under an hour.
The Keeper is based on the young life of ManCity goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, whose worldwide fame is due to having weathered the last 20 minutes of the 1956 FA Cup Final with a broken neck.
But fittingly, that incident is a smaller part of the movie, because the real story is how a Nazi soldier and POW became a First Division GK in English football in just a few years after the end of World War 2.
What foments political change? What makes a people realize they deserve a say in how their lives are run? This documentary convinces us the answer is combining politics with football and rock ’n roll.
The footballing film Egaro (এগারো) takes place in British India in 1911. Subjugated by the English, Bengali natives are second-class citizens in their own country. Some try to succeed by working within the British system, while some are beaten and murdered by police. Some rebel with acts of terrorism.
If you are looking for a great idea for a soccer movie, you should buy the rights to this 10 year old documentary The Team That Never Played. Gather up the players interviewed by Writer-Director Greg Appel and fill out their stories while they can still be recalled. This is history that deserves to be retold on a bigger stage and preserved by more than word of mouth.
Although The Other Chelsea is 10 years old, it is a valuable film to watch in the context of today’s impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump. First-time Writer-Director Jakob Preuss lays out the struggling lives of coal miners in Donetsk and compares them to Kolya, a young rising local politician and businessman who drives a Lexus and drinks very old cognac. What ties them together is the success of their football team, FC Shakhtar Donetsk (Шахта́р Донецьк).
The title Yeşil Kirmizi refers to green and red, the colors of Amedspor, a Kurdish team that in 2016 played in the third division of Turkish football. To Americans, that sentence sounds harmless, but in Turkey, four of those words could be inflammatory. To strongman Erdogan’s Turkish government, professing Kurdish ethnic identity is tantamount to treason and the support of terrorism.