- 1h 10m
In a small Austrian town, football helps three young Chechen refugees reconcile with traumas of the past.In a small Austrian town, football helps three young Chechen refugees reconcile with traumas of the past.In a small Austrian town, football helps three young Chechen refugees reconcile with traumas of the past.
A complete eye-opener
FC Chechnya presents a fascinating insight into a world that most of us have probably given little thought to, or chosen to ignore. Whilst perhaps not as naturally 'sensational' as the many exposes into life in refugee camps, for example, watching a refugee community settle within another, notably with differing degrees of state and local community support, offers a story every bit as complex and multi-dimensional, if not more. It becomes very quickly clear that there are no simple answers to resolving both overt and underlying tensions of identity and belonging. That these present on the surface as somewhat passive, and banal, when deep down they are anything but, would indicate a tough challenge for any filmmaker. However, FC Chechnya manages to convey these tensions, emotively and in spades. The connective 'tissue' of the whole narrative is football – a 'universal' if ever there was one – which becomes both a means of advancement in a new community, and an activity to keep, if not strengthen, existing bonds within an existing refugee community. FC Chechnya succeeds through it's subtle, 'down-to-earth' presentation, which draws the viewer in to a point where, at several times throughout the film, it feels as like you are actually standing there, on-the-spot, whilst it's being filmed. The power of the narrative continues to grow throughout the film, and the absence of dramatics that have plagued many a promising documentary helps bring out the sub-stories whilst making sure the bigger issues remain front of mind. One if left to wonder how much this situation may have been replicated in Europe in recent years, and how we seem to have missed this dynamic completely.
- Jun 10, 2011
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