Kicking + Screening kicks off with soccer rebels film

By Paul Kennedy

The fifth annual Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival kicks off Tuesday at Tribeca Cinemas in Manhattan with Les Rebelles du Foot, a film by Frenchmen Gilles Perez and Gilles Rof starring Eric Cantona and chronicling the stories of five soccer rebels: Rachid Mekhloufi, Socrates, Predrag Pasic, Carlos Caszely and Didier Drogba. (Trailer)

Mekhloufi, one of the great French soccer stars of the 1950s and 1960s, quit playing for the French national team and instead starred for the touring FLN team, rallying the cause for Algerian independence during the Algerian War.

The late Socrates, who played for Brazil at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, was a liberal activist who fought the military government that ruled Brazil until 1985.

Pasic, a former Yugoslav international, started a soccer school during the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War, bringing children from different nationalities, religions and regions together.

Caszely was one of the great Chilean stars of the 1970s. He opposed General Augusto Pinochet, who took power in a bloody coup that toppled the elected government of Salvador Allende, and his mother was tortured for his leftist views.

Drogba, the only active player in the group, worked behind the scenes to secure a cease-fire to the Ivorian civil war in 2006, the year of its first participation in the World Cup.

Other films airing this week:

-- Wednesday: Mundial. The Highest Stakes, about Poland's 1982 World Cup campaign. (trailer)
-- Thursday: 3 Millones, about Uruguay's 2010 World Cup campaign (trailer)
-- Friday: Tim Cahill: The Unseen Journey, about New York Red Bulls' Australian international Tim Cahill (trailer).

Two more K+S soccer film festivals are planned for 2013: Austin, Texas (Sept. 7-8) and Portland, Ore. (Oct. 11-12) for which submissions are currently being accepted.

CHICAGO FAN FESTIVAL PLANNED. U.S. Soccer is hosting a viewing party in his home city of Chicago for Tuesday's USA-Honduras game in Sandy, Utah.

The Chicago Park District and the Chicago Sports Commission will join U.S. Soccer in hosting a viewing party in Grant Park on a 19-by-33-foot high-definition screen at the Petrillo Music Shell north of Jackson Boulevard.

Pre-match activities, including pickup soccer games on mini-fields and a youth soccer clinic hosted by the NWSL Chicago Red Stars and the Illinois Youth Soccer Association at 4 p.m.

Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas and players Logan Pause and Chris Rolfe will also make appearances at the free event.

'THE TRADITION HITS D.C. BARS. D.C. United's limited-edition beer has been named “The Tradition.” The contest for the summertime ale brewed by DC Brau Brewing Company drew 534 entries in the “Brand the Brew” contest. The beer is available at participating D.C. United bar partners.
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