I Heart Germany

In Club Bastard in Berlin this weekend, I spotted and advert for the International Football Film Festival.

Brilliant – a festival packed with football films, and I’ll miss it. All those debates about whether football can be accurately represented on screen and the issue of whether you use actor who can’t play football or footballers who can’t act.

This to me is the crucial debate, and sadly, any debate had on this topic won’t be informed by the greatest football film ever, and number three in my all-time list of favourite films, the magnificent Escape to Victory. I know it might not go down so well, what with it being about the vanquishing* of the evil Nazis, but underneath that bit of harmless fun, it’s about how football conquers ideology, as seen when Max von Sydow doesn’t let certain death at the hands of the Gestapo get in the way of applauding Pele’s overhead kick**.

To cap it off, it doesn’t feature the second best football film ever – Shaolin Soccer. Bloody rockists.

* Spoiler alert – they don’t actually vanquish them. Football is the winner.

** John Huston doesn’t let Pele’s goal get in the way of directoral convention by showing it about 17 times from different angles, in a move that the producers of the A-Team borrowed for explosion shots.