Kids Cup

Director(s): Line Hatland
Country: Brazil, China, Norway, Palastine, United States
Language: Multiple languages w/English subtitles
Documentary | 2021 | 89 mins
Genre: Documentary
Recommended for ages 10+ (Parental Guidance: Crass teen humor, sexual references, strict parenting.)

Ambitious young soccer players from China, Brazil, the United States, Palestine, and Norway have been training for months to take part in the Norway Cup, a top-level international tournament. With rapid-cut editing and an uplifting soundtrack, the film follows several of these players—all about 14 years old—from their home country, where they train for the last time and pack their bags, to the Norwegian capital Oslo, where they settle into in their lodgings, play matches, and hang out with teammates. We see them talking with their parents, trainers, and friends, and grabbing their chance to shine on the field.

But it’s not only about winning or losing in this chronologically structured documentary. All these teenagers have arrived with their own social and cultural baggage, and some are worried about their family or the situation back home. Friendships deepen, euphoria alternates with disappointment, and there are raging hormones and inevitable moments of defiance. Each teen’s story is their own, but they’re all part of the collective tension and excitement of this massive event.

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