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Tomas von Brömssen
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Tomas von Brömssen,
An in-the-face documentary in the height of the 1968 student rebellions
Some people might claim that Den vita sporten (The White Match/Sport) is dated. Others might claim that the film too closely bound with the whole 1968 student movement, the new left, the student uproar. And some might consider it as mere propaganda. This phenomenal film is all of the above and that's why it's such a shocker.
The question the filmmakers wishes to explore is if sports and politics don't mix, with the Davis Cup tennis matches between Sweden and Rhodesia as a backdrop. Of course the answer is already given sports are politics as much as anything that goes down in society as a whole. Naturally, politicians and sports organizers disagree, but a regular but diverse army consisting of angry students, self-righteous liberals and crazed fanatical Maoists set their course toward the small beach resort Båstad. Here, things go really ugly as the demonstrators are determined to stop the match at any cost.
And Den vita sporten is really down there in the crowds - literally as the water cannons starts squirting and Mao's little red books is waved in frantic aggression. It's got a direct, fist-in-the-crotch approach, with youth frustration sprawling from within and between the frames... you could almost touch this presence when Bo Widerberg, Roy Andersson and the other directors and producers in the collective Grupp 13 charges the local police, rocker gangs, racist Rhodesian thugs, lazy power-high politicians and conformist working and middle class locals.
This film is not just a film that documents a riot between leftist students and the police in Båstad this is the closest thing anyone got in making a documentary about the Paris near-revolution in '68. That is truly revolutionary.
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