Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait Review

Image for Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

Documentary focussing on the footballing career and skills of the great French legend.


It’s been done before — Hellmuth Costard focused solely on George Best playing against Coventry in his 1971 avant-garde offering, Football Like Never Before. But this 17-camera portrait of the artist as an ageing star still captures the magnetism and balletic genius of a player whose reputation will surely survive the naysaying of holier-than-thou commentators following his World Cup 2006 dismissal.

What’s so striking about this compelling collage is Zizou’s expressionless concentration, which seems to isolate him from his Real Madrid team-mates. And it’s this emotional control that makes his involvement in a penalty-area scrum so surprising and his dispatch to the dressing-room so iconically tragic. Definitely one for footie fans, but probably not for the uninitiated.

Technically, this documentary draws attention to itself far too often with its tricksy shifts between camera angles and distances. But, as a study in sporting concentration and an avant-garde experiment in spatial disorientation, it's pretty damn impressive.