At the end of the season, English clubs typically issue a compilation of highlight videos. But at the beginning of the 2019/2020 season, Liverpool felt they had a good chance to win the EPL. So they recruited James Erskine to follow the club season-long and work on a documentary, somewhat along the lines of the Sunderland and All or Nothing series.
I have reviewed quite a few films about the Homeless World Cup, but Dream (드림 ) is the first I’ve seen that puts some humor into what would be a typical sports drama, along with bits of Korean culture and the quirkiness embraced by Korean film.
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.
I had resolved not to review another hooligan movie, but Cass is not one of those hit-and-tell stories that glorifies football supporter violence. Instead, this gripping film shows how a young Black man rises above the hatred that surrounds him. In the case of Cass Pennant, hatred comes from many sources: his skin color, which he tries to scrub off as a child, the competition with supporter firms, and a meaningless life of toil, from which violence is an emotional escape.
In the documentary Pojkdrömmen, Writer-Director Emil Moberg Lundén tells his own story of his last-ditch all-out attempt to become a pro footballer at age 30. It’s an entertaining film under an hour, as Emil is the anti-Zlatan, an attractive, talented man who comes to question his self-centered goal in the context of third world problems.
Presented by Robbie Lyle, Football Fans: Under Their Skin gathers together leaders of supporters groups and prominent fans who are all men of color. Some share their childhood experiences in the stands as victims of racism. It is painful to see how those experiences affected them and their parents. And decades on, not only does racism continue in the stadium, but it now thrives online.
The biopic La Foquita: El 10 de la Calle concentrates on the inspiring rise of the Peruvian footballer Jefferson Agustín Farfán Guadalupe, whose nickname is “La Foquita”. Farfán emerges from the shanty town of Villa El Salvador, where poverty is so deep, that finding enough food to eat is a daily chore.
Truth be Told: The fight for Women’s Professional Soccer is an ESPN E60 production. The film covers the more visual aspects of the “This guy has a pattern” story that was reported by Meg Linehan and Katie Strang. On Sep-30-2021, the reporters broke open their investigation on abuses by celebrated NWSL coach Paul Riley and the organizational coverups.
Africa United starts off with Dudu, a young AIDS orphan in Rwanda, lecturing even younger boys on the use of condoms to protect against the disease. He then blows up the condom and turns it into a homemade soccer ball.
Only one week ago, the world watched the Argentina vs France final of WC 2022. For me, the tremendous corruption and the controversies of the World Cup in Qatar overshadowed the football that was meant to be the showcase. But if I could put aside the politics, there were cracking upsets, come from behind wins, and underdog heroics.
This is a heavy-hearted review. I watched Grant Wahl’s docuseries Good Rivals during the two weeks that the USMNT was playing in the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar. I had hoped that Grant would see my review during the WC. But tragically, Grant Wahl suffered a fatal aortic aneursym in the press box of Lusail Stadium, while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match. He died just a few days after celebrating his 49th birthday.
Hell hath no fury like fans scorned. Over 20 years ago, Barcelona supporters boiled over when Luis Figo betrayed their team and transferred to Real Madrid. With the flair of a thriller, The Figo Affair weaves together the few days over which the deal went down.
It’s a shame that shows like Las Bravas F.C. get so little traction and attention in the world of futbol. It’s a cute, entertaining series that abounds with examples and themes of diversity, inclusion, and female footballer role models. Lead actor Mauricio Ochmann is a popular telenovela star with a charisma that echoes Ryan Reynolds and with an unnerving resemblance to Mikel Arteta. But I only came across this enjoyable series while scrolling through HBO Max. So I suggest you watch it while you can.
Long ago, in a league far away, John Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand. At a time when England’s FA was beginning to crack down on racism in the sport, John Terry became the first footballer to go on trial for directing racial slurs at an opponent during a game. The charges were not brought forward by Anton Ferdinand, but by a QPR fan.
Credit this film for its high quality and unusual story. Despite a lengthy 2 hours and 47 minutes, I did not check my watch while viewing Jaadugar (जादूगर). The story is well-shot and well-edited, and it deftly weaves together a tale of romantic comedy, football, and magic. In addition, I was entranced by the brilliant smile of its star, Jitendra Kumar, who plays Meenu, an extremely goal-oriented young man whose dreams are tied to the soccer pitch, but not in a way you expect.