This article is also available in: Italiano
Forever Pure: 2 Chechens bought by the Israeli far right team: hatred, violence and football in a film that will make you think.
“January, 2013. A secret transfer takes 2 Muslim players to the heart of Israel and to the extreme Right club Beitar Jerusalem F.C., kicking off the most racist campaign in the history of Israeli sport. A season and a club in crisis, such as power, money and politics, fueling a club in a spiral out of control. “
This is what the plot of this documentary quotes. A true story capable of upsetting the world for the violence and brutality that this film highlights.
A January like any other
January 2013 looks like everyone else in Jerusalem. The championship is mainly played between the 2 Tel Aviv teams: Hapoel and Maccabi. The Beitar is now very far from being able to win something and must equip themselves in order not to risk relegation. President Arcadi Gaydamak then takes matters into his own hands: he takes 2 players from Terek Grozny, a team with which he maintains excellent relations. The players are Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev. Both Chechens. Both Muslims. The chaos is endless.
Beitar is the only team in Israel that has never tolerated signing Arabs or Muslims and is historically aligned with groups such as Betar who want a uniquely Jewish state. The two Chechens do not know what awaits them, they do not know the football of these places very well, they are just 2 normal players who want to continue doing what they love most in the world. But something does not allow him to do so. A yellow and black wave of racism invades every moment of their stay in Jerusalem. During the press conference they are booed, insulted and humiliated by the fans present. And that’s just the beginning.
A sadly unforgettable year
The most extreme fringe of Beitar’s cheering, “La Familia”, is activated. He first destroys the offices of the club itself, then begins to persecute the 2 players. He waits for them every day at the training camp, they sing racist chants and keep whistling them. Every now and then they even try to enter the field to physically beat them. Only a fence and a group of bodyguards stand up to what could be a massacre. The shock for the players is instantaneous and fulminant. They don’t know how to behave, they keep looking around between fear and indecision. Teammates feel the same emotions. A part of them is historically Beitar fans and deep down they share the annoyance of having such heavy teammates around. The other does not know which fish to take. They know the history of this club, but they didn’t think they could go that far.
History repeats itself day after day, they seem to be in better shape than the players themselves. Every day “La Familia” shows up and continues to insult and groped to attack the players. The other teams do not care about these matters, they have other things to think about and the story goes to the second tier. Their fans must encourage their teams to win or save themselves. They don’t have time for that team of fascists.
March 3, 2013
On March 3, however, an event occurs that will bring Beitar to the center of the spotlight. It is the date of Sadayev’s debut. As soon as he enters the field, whistles rain. The opposing fans think they are aimed at them and start booing at each other. Only with time is it clear to whom they are whistling. Every time Zaur touches the ball, his own fans start chanting against their player. Then when the Chechen himself scores, it seems that time stops. The violence of the Gialloneri is getting stronger, so much so that the coach is forced to change him, worried about the latter’s life itself. Now there are death threats. He is guilty of scoring with an Israeli shirt. He is guilty of soiling her with his filthy soul. He is guilty of being the first Muslim to score with the Beitar jersey.
After that match the media began to take a close interest in the matter. Even for a country like Israel, historically in bad relations with Muslims and Arabs, this is excessive. It goes beyond any rational logic. It is after March 3 that Maya Zinshtein, the director of the documentary “Forever Pure”, begins to take an interest in this story.
Maya can’t believe it. It cannot, in any way. What he saw is certainly the result of a nightmare, something bad that doesn’t belong in the real world. But something begins to harbor doubt in her: what if it were all true? He then decides to touch the reality of the team from Jerusalem, the next day he takes the plane and arrives right in the disputed city. He wants to sleep with his soul in peace and so he begins interviewing the Gialloneri fans. Within an hour she will have cleared up and will be able to enjoy a nice trip to the religious city par excellence.
This is not the case, what he hears is disconcerting. “We are not racists but it is unacceptable for a Muslim to play for Beitar!” Or “Those pigs dirty their shirts, when they kneel to pray they are tarnishing something sacred and that represents my country.” or simply “This team will remain Forever Pure”.
A story that cannot be tolerated
In June Zaur and Dzahabrail will leave Israel and Beitar forever, they prefer to return to their Chechnya, as dangerous as it is safer than their stay in Jerusalem. The city that should be a symbol of peace and harmony for the world. The city that has fallen prey to a group of exalted and fascists who do not tolerate Muslims. The city that has been suffering for millennia has returned to suffer, this time for football. For beings it is difficult to define fans and easier to call animals. Beings who humiliated this sport, making it overturn in sleep.
After that trip Maya Zinshtein worked hard so that this story did not go into the background. So that something is saved in people’s memory, as what happened to the 2 Chechens could only be a bad dream. Like what Maya thought she had done, like the reality that appeared before her eyes in that distant 2013, when football experienced the worst episode of racism in history. The documentary in 2016 won the awards for best direction, best editing and The Jewish Experience Awards as an honorable mention at the Jerusalem film festival.
Follow us on our facebook page, Spotify, YouTube,Twitter and Instagram, or on our Telegram channel. Any like, sharing or support is welcome and helps us to dedicate ourselves more and more to our passion: telling the Middle East ..