Soccer film has turned a corner

By Leander Schaerlaeckens

I get sent a lot of screening DVDs for upcoming soccer films.

For the longest time, they were mostly terrible.

This wasn’t to say PR people made a concerted effort to bog up my DVD player with unwatchable dreck. It’s more that soccer cinematography, documentaries excepted, was awful. (See – or, rather, don’t see – the Goal! trilogy, the last of which was tellingly released straight to DVD.)

That trend was finally reversed when I was sent a copy of United, a BBC-produced recreation of the Munich air disaster, a plane crash that killed eight Manchester United players and 15 others in 1958. Although the Mancunian accents were hard to decipher at times – and that’s having lived in England for three years – the portrayal was gripping.

Last week, I found Heleno in my mailbox, a biopic of Brazil’s best striker of the 1940s.

Soccer film has turned a corner.

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