You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Power of the Game

Although it's soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. Exciting, inspiring pic could score the hat trick of niche theatrical, broadcast and DVD deals, but the backdrop of the 2006 World Cup Finals may limit its sell-by date.

Cast:
With: Danny Jordaan, Landon Donovan, Bruce Arena, Mahin Gorji, Fabian Ferraro, Zeshan Rehman, Jimmy Adjovi-Bocco. (English, Spanish, Farsi, French dialogue)

Although it’s soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. With docu “The Power of the Game,” versatile British helmer Michael Apted combines the sociological perspective that he brought to the “7 Up” sequels with his own passion for the sport, investigating its social impact and power to do good across continents. Exciting, inspiring pic could score the hat trick of niche theatrical, broadcast and DVD deals, but the backdrop of the 2006 World Cup Finals may limit its sell-by date.

Mixing interviews with players and officials, ample match highlights and scenes of rapt and raucous fans, pic offers six interweaving stories. Most examine football as a unifying force and illustrate how it’s used to tackle issues outside of itself, as in Argentina, England and Senegal, where current and former players give back to their communities by working with underprivileged youth.

Former Argentine pro Fabian Ferraro returned to Moreno, a tough slum area on the fringes of Buenos Aires, starting street football team Defensores del Chaco to keep local kids from a life of crime. The success of his endeavor facilitated the area’s regeneration.

In England, where there’s a disturbing element of racism and hooliganism among fans, British-born Zeshan Rehman, a Premier League player for Fulham and a member of the Pakistani national squad, serves as a role model for Asians.

Top African players Patrick Vieira, Bernard Lama and Jimmy Adjovi-Bocco created the Diambars (“warriors”) Institute in Senegal to give talented youngsters advanced coaching as well as a proper educational grounding, and to circumvent the flow of unprepared Africans used and abused by European clubs.

Meanwhile, South Africa looks to football to overcome the legacy of apartheid and unite the country as it builds the infrastructure necessary to host the 2010 World Cup.

One of pic’s most engaging figures is Iranian sports journalist Mahin Gorji. As women aren’t allowed into stadiums to watch men’s matches, Gorji was initially forced to watch on TV and conduct interviews over the phone. Now she’s the only woman in the country who can attend matches, thanks to a special dispensation.

The U.S.’ situation as “the one remaining culture in the world that football has yet to penetrate” produced one comic moment during the World Cup. Its qualifying game against Mexico was sited in a remote Ohio town — far from the Mexican border — to make sure home supporters outnumbered those of the guest.

Fast-paced film incorporates a mass of broadcast material, some of which loses resolution on the bigscreen.

The Power of the Game

U.S.-U.K.

Production: A Pathe Prods., Film4 (U.K.) presentation, in association with National Geographic Films, of a Reason Pictures, Good (U.S.) production. (International sales: Pathe Pictures Intl., London.) Produced by Eileen Gregory, Ben Goldhirsh. Executive producers, Francois Ivernel, Cameron McCracken, Peter Dale, Andrew Mackenzie, Peter Hargitay, Matt Littin. Co-producers, Bristol Baughan, Stevie Hargitay, Richard Motzkin. Directed by Michael Apted.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Maryse Alberti; editor, Susanne Rostock; music, Carmen Rizzo; music supervisor, Gemma Dempsey; sound (Dolby Digital); associate producer, Stacy Ruppel; line producer, Chris Kraft. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Spotlight), April 28, 2007. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Danny Jordaan, Landon Donovan, Bruce Arena, Mahin Gorji, Fabian Ferraro, Zeshan Rehman, Jimmy Adjovi-Bocco. (English, Spanish, Farsi, French dialogue)

More Film

  • Robert Hawkins, Variety Rome Correspondent, Dies

    Bob Hawkins, Longtime Variety Journalist in Italy, Dies at 93

    Although it’s soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. With docu “The Power of the Game,” versatile British helmer Michael Apted combines the sociological perspective that he brought to the “7 Up” sequels with his own passion for the […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: Tyler Perry's 'Boo 2!' Tops Downbeat Weekend With $21.7 Million

    Although it’s soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. With docu “The Power of the Game,” versatile British helmer Michael Apted combines the sociological perspective that he brought to the “7 Up” sequels with his own passion for the […]

  • Aida Begic Director Aida Begic poses

    Antalya Festival: Aida Begic on ‘Never Leave Me,’ Shooting Movies with Kids

    Although it’s soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. With docu “The Power of the Game,” versatile British helmer Michael Apted combines the sociological perspective that he brought to the “7 Up” sequels with his own passion for the […]

  • Antalya Fest Opens with Walken, Syrian

    Antalya Festival Opens with Walken, Syrian Refugee Crisis-themed ‘Never Leave Me’

    Although it’s soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. With docu “The Power of the Game,” versatile British helmer Michael Apted combines the sociological perspective that he brought to the “7 Up” sequels with his own passion for the […]

  • Interview With Carla Simón, director of

    ‘Summer 1993’s’ Carla Simón Talks About, Summer, Kids, Oscars

    Although it’s soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. With docu “The Power of the Game,” versatile British helmer Michael Apted combines the sociological perspective that he brought to the “7 Up” sequels with his own passion for the […]

  • Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

    Turkish Cinema: The New Generation - Kivilcim Akay, Director ‘I am Also Here'

    Although it’s soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. With docu “The Power of the Game,” versatile British helmer Michael Apted combines the sociological perspective that he brought to the “7 Up” sequels with his own passion for the […]

  • Turkish Cinema: The New Generation -

    Turkish Cinema: The New Generation - Su Baloglu, Producer ‘The Island’

    Although it’s soccer in the U.S. and football everywhere else, a love for the game proves one of the few common denominators on the planet. With docu “The Power of the Game,” versatile British helmer Michael Apted combines the sociological perspective that he brought to the “7 Up” sequels with his own passion for the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content