Berlinale Review: Infinite Football

Name me a football fan who hasn’t ever dreamed of managing their favourite club. Personally, I was addicted to Football Director on the Spectrum at an early age. It’s funny how a lot of data can occupy an avid mind. Then Championship Manager and Football Manager took things to another level. I spent hours inventing and imagining anything and everything to do with football but my passion and imagination isn’t on a par with that of Laurentiu Ginghina.

Injured at an early age which prevented him playing football, Ginghina invested his time and enthusiasm into making a better game. He is the subject of Corneliu Porumboiu’s new documentary Infinite Football. Ginghina, a close friend of Porumboiu has spent his life in low level bureaucratic jobs. We get a glimpse into his daily life. His hopes and aspirations. Desperately wanting to change the structure and rules of football or at least create an alternative game to rival one of the most popular sports in the world.

Infinite Football could easily have been a bore draw, but its Porumboiu’s willingness to let the camera role and allow Ginghina to tell his story which makes it such compelling viewing. The utter chaos and madness of the idea is quite drolly contrasted with the seemingly Kafta-esq nature of his job. Indeed, Infinite Football revels in this chaos, and Porumnboiu isn’t likely to miss an opportunity to add a political angle. Infinite Football is an offbeat gem of a documentary.

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