United tells the story of the 1958 Munich air disaster involving ManU’s young team known as Busby’s Babes. Trying to take off in a snowstorm, the plane ran out of runway, hit a house, and was torn apart.
If you watched the end of the 2011-2012 EPL season, you saw the spoiler role QPR almost played in Manchester City’s league championship. And if that were all you knew about Queens Park Rangers, you would have assumed The Four Year Plan was some kind of feel-good Moneyball success story. It’s not.
Soccer’s Lost Boys is an evocative documentary about soccer trafficking in Africa. Vanguard correspondent Mariana van Zeller interviews players, parents, and coaches to show how West African families hand over life savings to agents who promise a tryout in Europe.
I imagine One Night in Turin is very difficult to watch if you were an England fan during their semi-final shoot-out loss to West Germany in World Cup 1990. Writer-Director James Erskine captures the many emotions and struggles of the country, the coach, the team (including Paul Gascoigne), and its fans. Apparently for some, this film is so dead-on that it causes players to bring back the tears they shed that night in Turin.
Les Arbitres (The Referees) is a French documentary that follows several referees during Euro 2008. Much like the French movie about Zidane, there is no voice over or commentary to the footage as you watch and listen to the communication headsets of top referees while they work the games.
If you care about the biz side of the MLS, and you didn’t experience the NASL, you need to watch Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos. This 2006 documentary reveals the marketing manipulations and public excitement behind the 1970s New York Cosmos.
In the USA, we take our freedoms for granted, but what if we, as women, were not allowed to enter a stadium? Offside takes place at an actual 2006 World Cup qualifying match in Tehran, where women disguise themselves to get in.
In the touching drama, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation, 1970 is the year of the triumph of Pelé and one of Brazil’s greatest teams. But “on vacation” is an activist euphemism for going on the lam to avoid arrest and torture by Brazil’s ruling military dictatorship.
Johan is a very enjoyable dramedy/romance that, in a gentle way, shows that soccer is just a game, even in the Netherlands. The youngest in a family of 11 soccer-obsessed Dutch boys and their father, Johan doesn’t fit in because his obsession is music.
This German soccer movie, Guys and Balls, is predictable but very cute. Ecki, a small-town goalkeeper and baker, is kicked off his semi-pro team for being gay. In defiance, he organizes an all-gay team to play against his former team in their home stadium, resulting in a nice strike against homophobia.
You don’t expect much to happen in a Buddhist monastery. So it is not surprising that Phörpa (The Cup) is very slow paced. A spirited young soccer-obsessed monk defies the monastery’s way of life in order to watch World Cup 1998. But the abbot, although he does not understand why men fight over a ball for a cup, eventually accepts that Buddhism can coexist with football, and the boys scramble for the funds to rent a satellite dish and TV before the final.
The Match is a sweet spin on the underdog theme. The story is set in a picturesque Scottish village, the teams represent two pubs in a 100-year competition, and this is the year that winner takes all.
Ladybugs is the first soccer movie to make me laugh all the way through! Chester knows nothing about soccer, but he volunteers to coach the boss’ daughter’s team in the hopes of getting a long-deserved promotion.