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In the Hands of the Gods (2007)

The true story of five young British freestyle footballers' journey across the Americas to Argentina in the hope of meeting their hero, Diego Maradona.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Sami Hall Bassam ...
Himself
Mikey Fisher ...
Himself
Jeremy Lynch ...
Himself
Danny Robinson ...
Himself
Paul Wood ...
Himself
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The true story of five young British freestyle footballers' journey across the Americas to Argentina in the hope of meeting their hero, Diego Maradona.

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Documentary | Sport

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14 September 2007 (UK)  »

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Soundtracks

Providence
Written and Performed by God Speed You! Black Emperor!
Used by permission of Rough Trade Publishing
Courtesy Kranky Ltd
© Kranky Ltd/ Rough Trade Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Hero worshippers have a ball.
29 July 2010 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

A documentary about 5 young lads using their football freestyling skills to travel around the world for the chance to meet their hero, Diego Maradona, this film is certainly not for those who loathe a bit of the old soccer lark but it is more about the characters involved and the passions revealed than the actual kicking of the ball. You might say it's more about the team plays than the goals scored, if you were so inclined.

Woody, Sami, Mikey, Danny and Jeremy are very different people united by their love of football skills, their dream and their courage to take the plunge and risk everything for one moment they hope to remember for the rest of their lives. But it's not long before the differences start to outweigh the similarities and the journey quickly develops into a bumpy one. Mikey starts to get on everyone's nerves, Woody gets fed up of arranging absolutely everything and Sami is a selfish, moody git who can't seem to shake off the front he had to build up for himself in his gang/drug-dealing past.

Thankfully, that's not a generalisation of each character that runs throughout the entire movie. Nope, we get to see actual character arcs here and some maturation among the lads. There are one or two turnarounds that may surprise you and everyone gets to have their share of highlights and low points.

Just as in life, there are people here who you will end up disliking by the end of more time spent with them but the documentary does it's best to give everyone a chance to show their good side along with the bad. Amidst the drama and problems we also get some highly entertaining scenes showing the boys do what they do best: freestyling a football around to make more money for their continuing journey. It's those moments that also help to break up a journey that could have been simply full of predictable ups and downs and not half as lively as it is. Even as someone who isn't the world's biggest fan of football, I was impressed by these moments and found myself rewatching certain tricks and set-pieces. Accompanied by a lively soundtrack, they make for nice intermissions from the ongoing drama (a thought shared, quite possibly, by the boys themselves).

There's also a lot to be said for just how surprised you may be by the way some characters develop and mature throughout the journey. I didn't completely change my opinion of some but there were others who really ended up, for better or worse, portraying themselves in a completely opposite manner from how they started off. Perhaps not something to watch over and over again, once you know the outcome then the investment you've given over drains away, but definitely worth seeing the once.


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