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Around the world in pickup games

In “Pelada,” a movie that premiers this month at the South by Southwest film festival,  four young Americans embark on a six-month odyssey to 25 different countries, playing pickup games in locales that most American tourists avoid. From a prison in Bolivia to a game with bootleggers in Kenya, from freestylers in China to women playing in the hijab in Iran.

Jack Bell writes that "Pelada," whose international rights have been sold to PBS, might qualify as the soccer world’s answer to the 1966 surf-dude film the “Endless Summer.” On how they managed to play soccer inside a La Paz prison:

“You can bribe your way in as a tourist and Luke [Boughen] and I went inside to negotiate a deal,”  director Rebekah Fergusson said. “We paid them about $250 to get in. The guards don’t really bother inside the prison. It was a crazy experience in such a scary and frightening environment. It was 5v5 on an oddly shaped field, kind of like futsal. And the prisoners were all very skillful.”

Read the whole story at New York Times Goal Blog »

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