Friday, November 5, 2010

Jason goes to Jewfest South--Thursday, Nov 4

So I had a bit of a dilemma last night, as a film fan and as a soccer fan. Should I go to a viewing party and watch my beloved San Jose Earthquakes take on the New York Red Bulls in the second leg of their home-and-away playoff round. Or should I go to SVJFF and see a documentary about...soccer.

Well, I employed this oft-used logic: If I watch the game and the Quakes lose, I'll be doubly sad both that I saw it and missed what looked to be a good movie. But if they win, I'll be happy whether or not I saw it live, and I'll also get to see the movie.

So about 7 pm I was standing outside the Cubberly theater in Palo Alto, following @sjearthquakes on twitter as Convey scored the go ahead (aggregate) goal (after scoring the aggregate equalizer in the sixth minute), then New York equalized, and finally team (and league? please, please, please...) MVP Chris Wondolowski scored the series winner (on a pass from Convey) that ended the Red Bulls season and sent San Jose into the Eastern (???) Conference final (yes, Eastern conference, because they were wild cards even if they're from the West. In fact, there's a good chance the Eastern conference final could feature two Western teams, if Colorado puts away Columbus on Saturday). I have to say, following soccer on twitter is still kinda exciting. Maybe more so, as only exciting plays are tweeted.

Thankfully the Quakes put 'em away in regulation, I'd have gone insane if they went to overtime (to my European readers, MLS doesn't count road goals over home goals. And good thing, that would've negated the most exciting game in league history) and the movie started before the game ended.

Oh yeah, all that and there was a movie. AFTER THE CUP is the story of Bnei Sakhnin. Sakhnin is a predominantly Arab city in Galilee. The residents are mostly Arabs, but they're also Israeli citizens. They're the poorest team in the Israeli Premier League, but in 2004 they shocked the country by winning they Israel State Cup, meaning they represented Israel in the UEFA Cup. The team is an idealistic rainbow, featuring Arab, Jewish, and foreign players. And that's all well and good when they're winning. In the next season, they find themselves in a struggle to avoid relegation. And they find themselves plagued by hooligans--both for and against them. I suppose I could find some metaphor in there about how coexistence doesn't work if nobody wins. But I'd rather just enjoy it as a good movie with some exciting soccer scenes. And I became emotionally involved enough with the team that I despaired at their losses and cheered their victories.

Running Time: 79 minutes
My Total Minutes: 214,539
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