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Football Under Cover

Football Under Cover, a film by Germany’s David Assmann and Iran’s Ayat Najafi, recently stole the headlines at the world-famous “Berlinale” film festival in Berlin. The 85-minute documentary tells the story of a friendly football match between the Iranian women’s national team and a Berlin girls’ XI in Tehran in April 2006. The film is just as exciting and thrilling as a good football match. While focusing on injustice and repression, the movie also concentrates on the Muslim women’s desire to be treated equally as well as on the longing for freedom of-somewhat more surprisingly-some of the immigrants in the Berlin team. The match in Tehran was organised by the two directors themselves, who had to overcome a number of hurdles to do so. A rematch has yet to take place, even though both teams are desperate to play each other again. Attempts to organise a second game fell through in the summer of 2007 for political reasons. According to Assmann and Najafi, Football Under Cover cannot be screened in Iran, despite the success of the film at the “Berlinale” and the worldwide praise that has been heaped on this courageous movie.