Coming to theatres today, Friday, June 1:
Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist
Montclair, Kicking & Screening
A Brazilian soccer club reckons with a devastating tragedy.
In 2016, the underdog Associação Chapecoense de Futebol was poised to put their small Brazilian city on the map, having experienced a record season and qualifying for the nation’s top-ranked division. But en route to Medellín, Colombia for an important match, their charter airplane crashed, killing 19 members of the team. With just three athletes surviving, and those with serious injuries, the club and its family members face an uncertain future. The Zimbalists and Duque follow their efforts to rebuild, bringing on a new coach who controversially wants to forge ahead, recruiting new players who don’t gel as well as the lost team, and following the physical and emotional aftermath of the survivors. Surviving athletes struggle through physical rehabilitation with the hope of playing again, as well as with survivor’s guilt, while family members seek compensation for the loss of their loved ones. While taking a fairly conventional approach to storytelling, the filmmakers are able to convey the deep sense of loss felt by the team and community, creating a welcome and impactful emotional resonance that lifts this above most standard sports docs.