Coming to PBS’s Independent Lens tonight, Monday, May 15:

Maya Zinshtein

Jerusalem 2016

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Toronto, IDFA, CPH:DOX, Zurich, Chicago, Palm Springs, Gothenburg, Watch Docs, Cleveland, Seattle

Fans turn against an Israeli soccer team when the owner signs two Chechnan Muslim players.

Zinshtein’s film focuses on Beitar Jerusalem FC and an outspoken group of fans, known as La Familia, as both players and adherents reckon with the divisive decision of team owner Arcadi Gaydamak to add Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev to the roster. Long linked to conservative political party Likud, Beitar experiences a shocking backlash as La Familia organizes protests adorned with racist slogans and rejects formerly beloved team players who dare to support Sadayev and Kadiyev. Zinshtein captures the scandal as it unfolds, expanding beyond the pitch to impact larger Israeli society, while she also explores Gaydamak’s motivations and the financial and political undercurrents of sports.


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