“Away from the bright lights and manicured fields, there is another side of soccer…”
I went yesterday to Baltimore’s Premiere of Pelada, a movie directed by Luke Boughen, Gwendolyn Oxenham, Rebekah Fergusson and Ryan White. What is the movie about?
“Two players. 25 countries. One game.
Away from professional stadiums, bright lights, and manicured fields, there’s another side of soccer. Tucked away on alleys, side streets, and concrete courts, people play in improvised games. Every country has a different word for it. In the United States, we call it “pick-up soccer.” In Trinidad, it’s “taking a sweat.” In England, it’s “having a kick-about.” In Brazil, the word is “pelada,” which literally means “naked”—the game stripped down to its core. It’s the version of the game played by anyone, anywhere—and it’s a window into lives all around the world.
Pelada is a documentary following Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who didn’t quite make it to the pros. Not ready for it to be over, they take off, chasing the game. From prisoners in Bolivia to moonshine brewers in Kenya, from freestylers in China to women who play in hijab in Iran, Pelada is the story of the people who play.”
So I walked in the Charles Theater and my first [good] surprise was to see the large crowd, in line for popcorn, getting ready for the projection of Pelada. Was all that large crowd in World Cup Withdrawal? For sure… even if I was happy on Monday that the World Cup was over, yesterday, I felt like I was missing something, some adrenaline of watching the beautiful game… So Pelada was kinda perfect cure for me! The movie was shown in partnership with the Craig Willinger Fund who got partial benefits of the sales and raffled a basked of soccer goodies. I met Craig for the first time after numerous emails and conversations shared the past few months. I walked down to the theater room which was already filled by hundred of people, Crystal Palace players and staff, Ryan White’s family and friends, CWF members and volunteers and soccer fans, waiting for the projection.
Buy the DVD now!
Check out the trailer:
So I had a great time. This documentary is a beauty. It defines perfectly why we all love the beautiful game. Where people have nothing, soccer means everything… (took it from the NYT). From those old funny Brazilian dudes to the ghettos in Argentina, from the former waste field in Africa to the synthetic one in Tehran… Pelada shows how soccer can unite people and keep divisions and conflicts. Further than that, Pelada shows that Soccer is an international language, practiced and understood by all and that’s why we love Soccer, because it speaks to all of us, no matter who you are, no matter where you are from, no matter who you believe in.