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The White Match (1968)

Den vita sporten (original title)
Collective documentary about the riots at Sweden's Davis Cup tennis match against Rhodesia in Båstad, 1968.
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Credited cast:
Matts Carlgren Matts Carlgren ... President, Swedish Tennish Federation
Rune Johansson Rune Johansson ... Minister of Internal Affairs
Herman Kling Herman Kling ... Minister of Justice
Olof Palme ... Minister of Education


Collective documentary about the riots at Sweden's Davis Cup tennis match against Rhodesia in Båstad, 1968.

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Documentary | Sport


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An in-the-face documentary in the height of the 1968 student rebellions
8 August 2004 | by rundfunkSee all my reviews

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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Release Date:

9 September 1968 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Biały sport See more »

Filming Locations:

Båstad, Skåne län, Sweden

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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