When we talk about soccer culture in Latin America, one word tends to dominate the conversation: passion. Indeed, few regions of the world truly feel their fútbol fandom as deeply as Latin Americans, though, to be fair, it’s not hard to get riled up when we’re talking about massive name-brand franchises like River Plate or América. For Argentine director Federico Peretti and producer Fernando Prieto, the real test of passion was found in those small provincial teams who’ve never taken home a shiny cup, or even made it onto a national television broadcast.
To shoot El otro fútbol, their documentary exploration of this less glamorous side of the game, the duo spent three years traveling across 15 Argentine provinces, watching 250 games played by 140 different clubs. And from the hundreds of hours of raw material they recorded, the 94 minute final cut is a beautifully shot window onto the world of amateur play – and the truly passionate players and fans who give it life.
From the bucolic stadium of Ushuaia, located a stones-throw from Antarctica, or Chaco province’s third level Club Atlético Chaco For Ever, Peretti shows us what drives these fanatics and weekend warriors despite underfunding, low turnouts, and less-than-ideal playing conditions. The result is a visually sumptuous and emotionally moving exploration of that inexplicable spirit that drives the beautiful game in all its expression.