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The movie increased my GNH (Gross National Happiness) by several orders of magnitude. Documentary of a match organized between 202 seeded Bhutan and 203 seeded Montserrat (2002 FIFA rankings) by a Dutch footballer and filmmaker, the movie shows us what sports can and should be. The simplicity and humility of a people not yet converted by Nike and Adidas sponsorships (though they perhaps dream of it) is heartwrenching and uplifting.
Given that this film combined travel and football, I suppose there was
the slightest of chances that I wouldn't like it. As it was, I loved
minute of it. Basically, I watched this in "goofy grin" mode throughout.
This is a film for every duffer with two left feet who has ever chased
after a football and dreamed of glory.
Basically, following the failure of The Netherlands to qualify for the 2002 World Cup Finals, a Dutch fan came up with the idea of an "alternative" final between the two lowest ranking countries in the world. Step forward brave Bhutan (202nd) and magnificent Montserrat (203rd). Faxes were issued and the challenge accepted by both. The film covers the build up to the game from both sides, as well as the match itself. It is a story rich in drama. One week before the match, neither side (for vastly differing reasons) has a coach. Three days before the game, they still don't have a referee.
The game was played in Bhutan (and while this tiny country has been on my "must visit" list for a few years now, this film really made me want to go there....and soon) and the tortuous route taken by the Montserrat team (via Amsterdam, Bangkok and Calcutta) suggested they were still trying to figure out where Bhutan was, long after they had set out on their epic journey.
This is a film about the joy of sport (in a world far away from over-inflated salaries and corporate sponsorship) and also about the meeting of two very different cultures. The Montserrat players are clearly more than a little stunned to be asked for their autographs. The Bhutanese captain (and centre forward) dreams of playing for Arsenal some day (although he knows it will never happen).
As for the game itself, it looks like all of Bhutan turns out to watch the epic contest and the local match commentary enhances the spectacle (e.g. "The Montserrat keeper looks very confident with the ball at his feet" - just before he hoofs it straight to the Bhutanese forward). The grass on the pitch is cut by hand, with a sickle. The penalty spot appears to lie in the middle of a marshy bog. It's also not every game where a keeper sits down in his goalmouth and sulks after losing a goal.
I guess the best tribute I can pay to this film is that not only did it make me want to visit Bhutan (as previously noted), but it also made me really wish I could have been there to see this game. If only I'd known <sigh!>. This is a magical film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this movie on the Buddhist channel (yes in Holland every group has it's own channel)
It is called "The Other Final" cause it is played on the same day that the World Cup final was played in Japan between Brazil and Germany,but after watching this documentary: Who Cares about that match!?!
The documentary,shot by Dutch film makers because my nation screwed up during qualifications and didn't compete in the World Cup finals of 2002 but in the end this was even better cause else this film probably would have never been made. Anyway,the doc focuses on a match between the lowest ranked football nations Bhutan and Montserrat.The match itself is played in the Himalaya country of Bhutan.This means that the players of Montserrat (an island in the Caribbean) has to travel all around the world to reach their destination,but for them that isn't important.They just want to play honest football.
What makes this movie so brilliant isn't the high level of football,but the REAL level of football.For once it isn't about money,off side or late substitutions but about the fun in playing football.To see it is quite a relief.To see a player of Montserrat looking for a lost ball in the bushes is totally hilarious but so familiar as I used to do the same thing in my childhood.That's what makes it a REAL football movie.
Of course the level is inferior,for instance Bhutan has played a match before this one against Kuwait (not a great team,I can assure you) and the lost it 20-0! But again,who cares! After this final both teams are true winners.
The final itself isn't that important in the doc,it focuses more on the preparations of the organization and the players which is really a joy to watch. My title "the other game" wasn't really true.This is the real game where no one cares about money about regulations.Just PLAY football! Therefore this the not the "Other" final,but the "Real" final.
An absolute must see for every football fan or anybody else for that matter.It is said that one of the world's greatest players Zinedine Zidane really loved it and saw it several times,that is nice to hear.
Great work and a small thank you to the players of Holland for not reaching the World Cup Tournament. 9/10
Yesterday I saw "The Other Final". It tells the story of the 2002 Football Game between Bhutan and Montserrat. These two nations were on the bottom of the FIFA Ranking in 2002. But the actual game is only a small aspect in the movie. Both countries are introduced and their roads to the match are shown. I really like the movie because the cultural aspect of sports is shown in the movie. One Bhutan official says that this affect is more important than the competition. I totally agree with him. Before the match the two nations never heard of one another. This cultural clash is also a very important aspect of the movie. It is very funny to see the big Montserrat Players walk through the Bhutan town. The camera and photography is kind of awkward sometimes. You can clearly see that they didn't have a huge budget. I don't want to spoil anything but a bouncing football is a constant element in the movie. To sum it up, I really like to recommend the movie to people who want to see a movie about two very different cultures that were brought together by football. And don't worry about the quality of the match. It lasts only 20 minutes. I would give it 9 out of 10 because I like the idea of the movie and it was funny. If you don't like "special" camera-work (like strange zooming), it's more a 7. Go watch it as long it's in theaters.
I have just finished watching this documentary and it really does show you
the real side of football that people connect with and not the glamour and
money that people associate with our game.
A great idea, A great documentary, A great game.
I saw this film on a late night when I should have gone to bed. I'm
certainly glad I didn't because this tale of two countries is
fantastic. It's beautifully put together, well shot and edited. Best of
all, the characters tell the story and it doesn't suffer from "Nick
Broom-itis" where the film maker is too much a part of the story. The
football match that occurs at the end of the film is full of drama and
well worth the wait too as the story builds well throughout.
A thoroughly enchanting piece for lovers of good film making with no footy knowledge required.
For me this was one of the best movies shown on the Locarno Filmfestival.
It's a movie about the 2 lowest ranking football teams in the World
and Monserrat) in the offical FIFA ranking. While the final of the FIFA
World Cup their having a own final. Their playing who's the worst team in
the world. Buthan is a located in the Himalayas and is a budistic country
rouled by a King. Monserrat on the other side is a Island located in the
Antilles , they are Christ and a democartic Goverment. The film shows on
very special way how this 2 completely different Countrys come together,
fun and a good time playing football.
It's a very good film that you should not miss.
Kramer is part of the Dutch design office 'Kessels & Kramer', who, amongst other things, did campaigns for Diesel and the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. At this bureau there were a few socker enthousiasts. When Holland didn't qualify for the FIFA world cup, they came up with the idea of their own FIFA match between the two lowest ranking FIFA members, which turned out to be Montserrat and Bhutan. The national stadium of Montserrat is a mess, build on an active volcano, so this match was held in Bhutan. Incredible that a bunch of non-film makers can give birth to such a pearl of a documentary. 'Kessels Kramer' is also famous for their books with found footage photography and low budget photography. Check it out!
This was an interesting idea. Basically, a couple of Dutch guys decided
to arrange a soccer match between Bhutan, a tiny, isolated Himalayan
nation between India and China, and Montserrat, an even tinier island
in the Caribbean. And they pulled it off: the Montserrat team went all
the way to Bhutan and played a game there.
That's a pretty odd idea, needless to say, but it was great fun and it made for a very enjoyable movie. I'm not a soccer fan, so I can't say whether or not the soccer playing is very good (my guess is no), but I can say that both teams seemed to take the game seriously but still had a great international exchange.
This is a "feel good" movie. The only reason I didn't give it higher marks is that the filmmakers used way too many specialty shots, particularly during the game. The story is interesting enough to stand up on its own without needing that kind of distraction.
I saw this documentary last week and given that the World Cup Final has
just been contested, the timing was entirely apt. This film details the
build up to an unusual football match played on the 30th of June 2002,
the day of the World Cup Final. In that game, watched by a global
audience of one billion people, two titans of the game played each
other for the ultimate sporting prize. The final outcome had Brazil
defeat Germany in a high-tech stadium in Tokyo. Meanwhile, another
football match was simultaneously being played in another corner of
Asia. But this one was nothing like the one dominated by Ronaldo. It
was instead contested by the two lowest ranked international football
teams in the world. A Dutchman Johan Kramer had taken inspiration from
his own team's failure to qualify for the big tournament. He started to
focus on all the other teams in the world who mostly lost games of
football; the natural result of this quest led him to the two countries
listed as 202nd and 203rd in the world Bhutan and Montserrat. Contact
was made with both federations and it was agreed that they would play
each other on the same day as the 2002 World Cup Final.
What this film really is all about is the joy and beauty of the game; and the way it can bring people of different cultures together, no matter the skill level. Where the top level of football has been taken over with corporate sponsorship, astronomical wages and a win-at-all-costs cynicism that often results in extremely unattractive gamesmanship and play-acting, the people in this film are completely unaffected by any of these afflictions. By going back down to the lowest level of the international game, Kramer has discovered an important truth about the sport in general. He has encountered players and fans who love football without any of the unattractive qualities that poison the game at the higher levels. The players are earnest and perform for the love of playing, while the fans are un-contaminated by the nasty element that some supporters develop when the stakes are high.
The game itself was the highlight of the film for me. While it was a friendly with no meaning outwith itself, the players gave it their all and it was beautiful to see both the players and the fans having a ball. The local commentator was an absolute riot. His lack of exposure to the game meant that his observations were refreshingly original. His heartfelt empathy with the Montserrat goalkeeper after conceding a goal was touching while being very funny. As too was his confident assertion later that the said keeper 'really knows what he is doing with the ball at his feet' just prior to the player kicking the ball hopelessly to an opposing striker. His commentary was both hilarious and charming. We even had the always amusing sight of a dog running onto the pitch and walking around without a care in the world. These sorts of things just don't happen at Old Trafford or the San Siro.
I won't give away the result, although ultimately the score doesn't really matter. What does matter is that this football match was played and conceived in a way that is truer to the spirit of the game than the one played at the top level often is. For the record the big game two days ago was won by Spain, who played a passing game that was in the best traditions of football, while the Dutch tried to cynically kick them off the park. Luckily the best side won. The Dutch team maybe should look to one of their compatriots, Johan Kramer, and learn from him; at least he, eight years previously, had done something on the day of the World Cup Final that truly celebrated the best of football.
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