The Nile Hilton Incident (2017)
The Party (2017)
May God Save Us (2016)
The Other Side of Hope (2017)
Summer 1993 (2017)
Tom of Finland (2017)
Barrage (2017)
previous
next
Choose your language en | es | fr | it

“It’s neither an autobiographical nor a therapeutic film”

email print share on facebook share on twitter share on google+

Sergio Oksman • Director

by 

- On Football, the acclaimed documentary by Sergio Oksman, is reaching Spanish theatres after taking part in festivals such as Locarno, Seville and Márgenes

Sergio Oksman  • Director

On Football [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Sergio Oksman
film profile
]
, the much-lauded documentary by Sergio Oksman, is now reaching cinemas in Spain after taking part in gatherings such as Locarno, Seville and Márgenes. We chatted to the director, a Brazilian now settled in Spain, who worked with Elías Querejeta for years and made a huge splash with his short film A Story for the Modlins, which won the Goya Award in 2013, and garnered prizes at such festivals as Tallinn, Clermont-Ferrand and Karlovy Vary.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Cineuropa: On Football is partly a portrait of your home country.
Sergio Oksman:
I came to Spain in 1998. All my points of reference are here. For me, Sao Paulo is already like a literary land. Spain is my home turf, and Brazil is something else: it’s what you see in the film – grey, inhospitable, sad and soulless.

What drove you to meet up with your father again, as we see in the movie?
I had spent years with Carlos Muguiro, the co-writer of On Football, working on family archive material, and I was afraid that I would see myself condemned to follow the blueprint of the men in the family. In 2013 I wanted to know more about him, and we arranged to meet: straight away he saw that I wasn’t judging him, and nor was I there to settle scores. It was interesting when I realised that he is a guy I haven’t lived with for 40 years, but we structure our sentences in the same way and we are alike: there’s something innate there. But I didn’t want to make an autobiographical or a therapeutic film, which there’s now a whole barrage of: my story doesn’t necessarily have to interest anyone. If I’ve been good at constructing it, it will be a good movie.

Football is a channel of communication between a father and son: a neutral place where you can talk.
In an encounter with this type of man, the exchanging of information is a skewed form of affection: this was what happened with my father and football. And in Brazil, football is important as the structure for a modern mythology: a young country where Pelé is king. Football was also a guideline to make a type of film: the rectangle with two symmetrical teams, but with luck playing a role. Here what it’s all about is controlled luck. Reality doesn’t exist; we came up with a mousetrap and reality wandered into it, but you can’t control the rain. At the beginning, when it started to rain, I thought it had ruined the shot, but on the contrary, it actually enhanced the film. I would like to stress that On Football was written during the editing. It’s a highly constructed film, everything is chosen, every single element is put there for a reason.

So… how much of an experiment was the shoot?
I never know what I’m doing: you learn how to make a film by shooting it. Every documentary is a mise-en-scène. If I ever do pure fiction, I’ll use someone real like my father.

The light in the movie conveys a peculiar feeling…
I decided to shoot it like an eclipse because time stood still for a month in my city, for the celebration of the World Cup. We wanted a pastel colour, understated and grey, just like my father, who was a dull man. Everything was thought out: we placed the camera very openly so that either of the characters could escape from the film, if they wanted to. The camera is the observer: if the characters get bored, so does the viewer. This is a film that demands a great deal of the viewer, who has to do his or her bit: that is both the risk and the achievement of On Football.

Will you continue presenting the film at the festivals that request it?
After the release, I want to shoot the next movie because after a film like this, one needs to be paid for one’s work; it’s all very well making this kind of film, but you have to be able to live off something: I wish I could make films like this one, but I have to pay the bills somehow.

(Translated from Spanish)

See also

Newsletter

Emilia Romagna_site ENG
Film Business Course

Follow us on

facebook twitter rss