On April 22, FC Barcelona will play Real Madrid in another clash known as El Clásico. As any fan of Barca knows, the match will be another epic battle because of the intense rivalry between the clubs and the regions. And all this, and more, is examined in a documentary called "“El Clásico: More Than A Game." The documentary was filmed by nine students from California State University, Chico, under the direction of professor and filmmaker, Kelly Candaele, and producers, Catherine Growdon and Celia Brugman. The students spent two weeks in April 2010 in Barcelona and Madrid to learn about the differences in cultures and regional identities. They attended two games, one of which was El Clásico. They interviewed historians, players from both sides, journalists and politicians. The 50-minute documentary premiered in October 2011 at the El Rey Theatre in Chico, California. But in early May, the film will be screened at the Barcelona Olympic Stadium as part of the Barcelona Sports Film Festival. A special screening has also been set up for current and ex-players at the festival.
I haven't seen the film, only the trailer, but I hope to see it in its entirety one day. I look forward to it because to truly understand how Barca plays one has to understand the complex context of its history and place within the grander scale of politics and regional cultures. It also makes sense why there is so much pride taken in having home-grown stars, Catalans, who come up through La Masia, the training academy for youths.
I also think that any time the curtain of a great sports team is pulled away -- ever so slightly -- you can get a great understanding of what makes the team tick. And so, hopefully, the film will make its way to Netflix one day. It seems well worth watching.
To learn more about the film, go to the following site:
You can watch the trailer here: