Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 2001, a pair of South African journalists and activists who were also serious soccer fans came up with an idea to help the world's homeless. They created a Homeless World Cup, in which teams of street soccer players from across the globe were organized into national teams and given the chance to compete as a way of putting a human face on issues of economic justice, as well as giving street people a chance to show their talents to the world. The first Homeless World Cup tournament was held in 2003, and since then tens of thousands of players from 48 nations have taken part in the games, with over 70 percent of the athletes reporting they've been able to leave homelessness behind after competing in the tournament. Documentary filmmaker Susan Koch offers a close-up look at the Fifth Homeless World Cup competition in Capetown, South Africa, in the documentary Kicking It, which focuses on six footballers from Ireland, Spain, Kenya, Russia, Iraq, and the United States as they look back at their chaotic lives and how sports have given them the chance to improve their lot. Narrated by Colin Farrell, Kicking It received its North American premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
behind-the-scenes, homelessness, second-chance, self-improvement, soccer, South-Africa, team, tournament