Monday, April 9, 2007

Hooligans - The Untold Story...A Panorama/BBC Documentary on

So, after seeing Grindhouse on Friday (awesome movie! I enjoyed Planet Terror more than Death Proof...Death Proof was a little too "talky" at times) I was in the mood to see some schlocky 70's/early 80's flicks.

I remembered a few websites that offered free downloads or streaming viewing of movies that were now in the public domain. I had downloaded some old B-grade 60's horror movies from these sites before. Well, one such site I checked out was While I did find a couple of movies I might want to download, what I got stuck on was the site's Documentaries section. In particular, a Panorama documentary, broadcast on the BBC, titled Hooligans - The Untold Story.

Being a soccer fan, in particular a fan of English and German soccer, I decided to check it out. This particular documentary shines a disturbing light not on the club-level hooliganism which is rather common throughout many parts of the world, but rather the nationalist-inspired hooliganism which took place at last summer's World Cup in Germany.

Man, this was quite a fascinating documentary! From what I had seen on TV here in the U.S., everything was just one big, happy-go-lucky party during the World Cup; with only brief mentions of hooligans that were more-or-less detained before anything hit the fan. Well, as this documentary graphically shows, this was not entirely the case.

Turns out there was quite a contingent of hooligans from England who were looking not only for a place to drink beer and cheer their country on in Germany, but were looking to raise a little hell as, actually a lot of hell. You know how you'll be at a party or at a bar and there's almost always "that one guy" who has too much to drink and then thinks he can kick everyone's ass (usually because he's trying to impress some chick(s); and since he has no real personality he does the only thing he knows how to do to get the ladies' attention...which, sadly, there's usually one dumb chick who will fall for the act and give him her attention - thus proving people are just like any other primitive animal on the planet...but I digress)? Well, take "that one guy" and multiply him by a couple hundred or so. Craziness!

Though the documentary mainly focused on the shenanigans brought about by the English hooligans against (primarily) the German fans, it also focused slightly on the rivalry between the German and Polish hooligans (Germany faced Poland in the World Cup). What was interesting in both cases, was that none of the clashes really had anything to do with soccer itself (or football as it is called outside of the U.S.) but seemed to have everything to do with old World War II-era hostilities. It was really fascinating to hear what was coming out of the mouths of the drunken English hooligans. Even more fascinating was the fact that groups of German and Polish soccer hooligans routinely schedule all out brawls against one another on vacant soccer fields!

This was a very interesting documentary to say the least. If you're interested in the soccer counter-culture (as I'll call it), or if you're just interested in the Sociological, Anthropological, or Psychological fields, this documentary makes great study material and is well worth the 60-minute viewing time.

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