Thursday, December 24, 2015

United Passions - Review

Released this year at the most ironic time ever, exactly when many FIFA officials were arrested for fraud and rampant corruption, UNITED PASSIONS is in every way appalling. John Oliver said it best when he highlighted its greatest fault to the masses: "Who makes a sports movie where the heroes are the executives?" This pathetic propaganda film tries in vain to cover 100+ years of the world governing body of soccer, leaving the viewer utterly confused at the sea of pompous white men in suits and wondering when in the hell some footie will take place in front of the camera. The organization consistently pats its own back until it draws a streak of blood for nearly two hours, congratulating itself at how its members created a series of rules that they want to enforce, found ways to get more money in the bank, got sponsorship from Coca-Cola and Adidas, and possibly had a hand at ending apartheid because they banned South Africa from competing until they get in line with FIFA's anti-racism ideals. In its most sickening moment, however, a president official played by slumming Sam Neill stands over a kid's table soccer set and clearly insinuates that he is God because he controls the ball and can make people forgot and forgive FIFA's ill-gotten gains because they will too busy celebrating victory on the grass. The only moments of executive vilification or any sense of conflict come whenever the makers want to throw the British under the bus, labeling them as the truly most arrogant in controlling the sport and xenophobic to the core. Frédéric Auburtin does a horrific job as the so-called director, littering the film with torturous scenes of talking that then fade to black for no logical reason. He even has the gall to conclude a segment with an artificial closing of the iris, as if two creators of the corporation are Charlie Chaplin, whistling down the road with their dream in front of the them. And I honestly don't know what's the worst thing Auburtin conceives for the movie's conclusion: thinking a "democratic" scene of Sepp Blatter possibly being elected president again as the climax or putting an end to a pointless subplot of kids playing street soccer in current times. UNITED PASSIONS is really that bad and deserves to be forever remembered as a travesty of the arts. History can't be written by the winners when said winners are now under lock and key.


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