Writer-director Mushon Salmona conceived the idea for his first feature film Vasermil after making a documentary about the marginal lives of teenagers in his hometown of Beer-Sheva, in southern Israel. The three boys in this story all come from broken homes and have to grow up quickly, although they are ill-prepared to do so.
In this downer of a movie, the players suffer the consequences of their drug-dealing and gangster ties. After a slow beginning, the story is fairly compelling. One player is discriminated against because he is Ethiopian, but his skill on the ball wins his teammates’ friendship, and they begin to see past his color.
Hard to follow if you are unfamiliar with Judaism
I wished I could have learned more about Israeli life from this movie, but the scope is very limited. It assumes that you are already familiar with Israeli ceremonies and celebrations, so I couldn’t understand the meaning of some of the incidents.
There is a lot of straight soccer in this movie, as the director may have used local players throughout rather than professional actors. The Vasermil Municipal Stadium looks like a school facility, but it turns out to be the home of the local pro team and in fact, was the site of a 1973 friendly where Israel defeated the USA. So playing in a youth tournament there has more importance to the story than is apparent.
4 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 4