“Anelka : L’Incompris” by Éric Hannezo

This post is also available in: Italiano

A documentary that will lead us to better discover the man Nicolas Anelka, with a specific focus on the 2010 World Cup in which an entire nation “mutinied” for him. Available on Netflix Italy Available on Netflix Italia

Anelka : L’Incompris

Enigmatic, incomparable or both? The controversial legacy of famous French footballer Nicolas Anelka is examined in this in-depth documentary. The controversial legacy of famous French footballer Nicolas Anelka is examined in this in-depth documentary.

Anelka and I

A film about the life of Anelka, one of the most talked about players of the early 2000s, capable of upsetting (without will or guilt) an entire nation. Personally I am very attached to this figure, as it was one of the first articles I ever wrote; you must know that, before the birth of the Middle East and Surroundings, I worked for more than a year for a sports magazine and Anelka was among the first I dealt with.

Anelka

In the past I compared him to Frantz Fanon, a legendary Caribbean intellectual, author of “The damned of the earth”, a text of fundamental importance for the decolonization process of peoples. Of course the comparison is absolutely out of place, but I also knew this when I wrote the article; the strange thing is, after this documentary, I’m less convinced that it was an hazard.

Life of Anelka

The film takes us to explore the career of the great French champion, proceeding mostly in a chronological sense, but with some small deviations useful to better understand some passages in his life before and after football. The story, in terms of number and level of transfers, could already be interesting on its own, but from the very beginning you understand how the real “fulcrum” is the “cursed” 2010 World Cup. During the competition Anelka was called up by the then coach Domenech but, after a first defeat and a disappointing second half, the player was replaced and in that situation he uttered a “bad word”.

Anelka

The next day, the Equipe headlined with: “Va te faire enculer sale fils de pute!” (I don’t think translation is needed) and this provoked immediate reactions from the French public opinion. Sarkozy himself even asked that he be ousted from the retreat, which promptly happened, but caused further chaos. In fact, the entire national team sided with his teammate, causing a strike which, aided by the disappointing results on the field, will lead to their exclusion from the competition. Only years later Domenech admitted that the insult was not even related to what was written in the media and, moreover, it was not referred to him but to the way of playing.

A film to see whether you are a football lover or a lover of justice, a perfect metaphor for how the media can distort the image of a man, making even tranquility appear “rebellious”.

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