Kochi: For many, football is an art which involves subtle kinetic movements and evokes breath—taking emotions which represent all conditions of human life. Hence, when the Kochi Muziris Biennale showcases a set of films that tell the tales of the beautiful game, it is going to be a double delight for lovers of art and sports alike.
The KMB'14 is all set to score with ‘Hard Tackle: The untold story of football’, a week-long package on football as part of its Artist’s Cinema programme.
The film screenings at the Aspinwall pavilion begin on Saturday at 7 pm. The February 14-20 package, with films from India, the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Mexico, is curated by film critic-journalist Faizal Khan, and features short films, documentaries and features, that portray the politics, economics and socio-cultural background in the game.
“The idea is to link society with sports to create an understanding of different cultures and as a unifying factor for people to celebrate and come together,” says Faizal, whose father Mohammed Usman played for Kerala.
Faizal and biennale director of programmes Riyas Komu have put together football film packages for the International Film Festival of India in Goa and the International Film Festival in Kerala, which proved so popular that Komu has been roped in as a consultant on this particular package in several cities, including in Indore and Pune.
The KMB ’14 package has poignancy, humour, surrealism and some of the films feature big names on the field. “There are a couple of ‘anti-football’ films,” said Faizal. Germany’s ‘The Whole Stadium’ is a 90-minute film that only looks at the spectators and ‘Stoppage Time’ is a short on the national anthems that come at the start of the match.
Indian film ‘The Vigil’ by the Raqs Media Collective, a Delhi trio who are also exhibiting at KMB 14’s Kashi Art Gallery, features a match between two Chinese football clubs, from the point of view of the goalkeepers. Originally telecast on two screens, the 92-minute film is premièring here in a new avatar, and is being shown in a split screen. A film put together by the Berlin Film Festival to commemorate the 2006 World Cup hosted by Germany shows a short clip of India’s failed attempt to play in 1950.
The package will be advertised among the different clubs in the city and also at Fort Kochi’s Parade Ground, which is a popular local venue for the game. Malayali footballer I M Vijayan will be felicitated on February 20, the closing day.
Komu noted that the film package was already set to travel to other parts of India as a KMB outreach, starting with Malappuram. “Football represents the best movements of civilians on earth,” said Komu. “There are more than 600 football films in the world; it shows the depth of interest that people have towards converting the stories around football into motion pictures.”