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TRIBECA 2024

Crítica: Federer: Twelve Final Days

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- El oscarizado Asif Kapadia y el videoartista Joe Sabia ofrece una íntima e introspectiva mirada al último capítulo de la carrera del campeón de tenis Roger Federer

Crítica: Federer: Twelve Final Days

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

The Tribeca-screened sports documentary Federer: Twelve Final Days by the Academy Award-winning Asif Kapadia (Amy [+lee también:
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) and video artist Joe Sabia examines the final days of Roger Federer’s professional career. In 2022, the Swiss player announced his retirement from professional tennis at the age of 41, having won 20 Grand Slam titles over two decades. With more than 1,500 matches played, Federer disclosed his departure from the sport at the Laver Cup in 2022. Kapadia and Sabia capture the moments as Federer pre-records the letter announcing his retirement, setting a tone of nostalgic reflection, and then follow him through his last fortnight as a professional tennis player.

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Federer: Twelve Final Days comes on the heels of Alex Gibney's documentary series Boom! Boom!: The World vs. Boris Becker [+lee también:
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, which explores the career and controversial life of the titular German champion. While Gibney focuses on Becker's turbulent journey, allowing him to narrate with his storytelling charisma, Kapadia and Sabia adopt a more reflective and introspective approach with Federer, which is also attuned to the protagonist’s personality and temperament. They shadow him during the final days of his professional career, revealing the behind-the-scenes events leading up to his last match while exploring the emotional weight of bidding farewell.

While the documentary serves as a tribute to one of tennis's greats, it primarily features original material shot during the preparations for Federer's closing in-court appearance. By interspersing archival footage and never-before-seen home videos, Kapadia and Sabia minimise the use of talking-head testimonials, focusing instead on observing Federer and his authentic interactions with family, friends and fans. They capture the balance between his grandeur as a world-famous athlete and the internal struggles the tennis icon faced while addressing various personal dilemmas. The portrayal honours Federer's achievements while also highlighting the challenges he endured, particularly during his later years marked by injuries and recoveries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Federer candidly discusses his thoughts on the future of his career, the impact of his career on his family, and the personal significance of the Laver Cup and London, chosen for his curtain call.

The decision to follow Federer during his final days as a professional player shapes the film’s structure, which crescendos emotionally while occasional snippets from his childhood and early career underline the rise of one of the greatest players and the eventual recognition of his limits. The documentary contrasts the public and private spheres of Federer's life, leaning into the latter to expose the dramatic tension and heartbreak of the end of an era that resonated globally. The directors capture moments with Federer’s peers and rivals – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – offering insights into the camaraderie and mutual respect that defined their rivalries. This adds to the emotional weight of him being the first of their generation to retire, while particularly touching is the bromance with “Rafa”. Their final doubles match together adds even more symbolism.

Federer: Twelve Final Days chronicles the career of a tennis titan and provides a close observation of a man's relationship with his sport, his rivals and his legacy, creating an emotional rollercoaster for fans.

Federer: Twelve Final Days was produced by Asif Kapadia and George Chignell, of Lafcadia Productions. The documentary will premiere in select theatres on 13 June and launch on 20 June exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

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(Traducción del inglés)

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