Directors – Mike Brett, Steve Jamison – 2014 – UK – Cert. 15 – 97m
DVD review for Third Way, 2014.
In 2001, American Samoa suffered the worst ever defeat for a soccer team in a World Cup qualifier when they lost to Australia by a staggering 31 goals to nil. Ten years later, FIFA still ranked the side at the bottom of its league table. Where most football teams dream of winning, American Samoa dreamed of not conceding a goal. Sensing herein the seed of a subject for a documentary film, Brit filmmakers Mike Brett & Steve Jamison headed for the tiny, English-speaking, Pacific island and spent months there hanging out with and filming the team in the training run up to the 2014 World Cup. What they captured on camera and edited into a feature film is both remarkable and compelling, whether or not you’re interested in football.
Rather than the expected group of losers, they find the team are steeped in the culture of American Samoa which is all about community, family and (Christian) religion, a very different cultural underpinning to Brett and Jamison’s. Western capitalism – and football within it – is all about competing, pushing yourself and your team as far as you / they can go and, ultimately, winning.… Read the rest