The life and struggles of Marinette Pichon

The life and struggles of Marinette Pichon

Director Virginie Verrier spoke after we screened her biopic about France's greatest ever female footballer

The biopic 'Marinette', based on the autobiography "Ne jamais rien lâcher" (Never Give Up), about the great French football pioneer Marinette Pichon, was the main feature on the fourth day of Thinking Football.

It is a moving journey through the highlights of this extraordinary footballer's life and career, from her tough childhood with an abusive father to adulthood and becoming a football legend. As director Virginie Verrier pointed out in the discussion after the screening, Marinette's battle reflects the struggle of women's football in France, "and it is a story that conveys hope".

The film raises issues that go beyond the main character and concern society as a whole. "In Marinette's biography, there are a lot of very important and current issues: equality in sport, sexual diversity, sisterhood and gender violence," recalled the French filmmaker.

In this second session, Athletic Club women's teams were present at the Sala BBK. Along with the players and coaching staff of both teams, the screening was also attended by Jose Angel Iribar, Ainhoa Tirapu, Jon Ruigomez and Josetxu Urrutia.

Beforehand at 18:00, we projected Greg Cruttwell's 'In the Middle'. The English director also did spoke about his film afterwards. The British documentary is a wonderful tribute to amateur referees, an indispensable part in non-professional football and figures who make professional football possible. Young, old, male, female, transgender... referees who are people who have lives and stories of their own.

As one of the referees in the film says, "I think we're the ones who love the game the most". Cruttwell added that "referees, especially those in the lower leagues, do it with incredible integrity and generosity. With this film I wanted to honour them and thank them for their work".

Friday 13th, ‘El hincha’ & ‘UEFA Extraordinary Stories’ 

On Friday night we begin with the screening of an Argentinian film called El hincha (The Supporter) at 18:00. Directed by Renzo Cozza, the feature introduces the viewer to the world of River Plate and the concept of inheritance in relation to a football club. Admission is free, but must be booked online HERE

At 20:00, in collaboration with UEFA, Thinking Football will screen two short films from the UEFA Extraordinary Stories series.

First up we have 'Jimmy Hasty: The One-Armed Star', which tells the incredible story of Jimmy Hasty, a player who overcame the trauma of losing his left arm in a childhood accident to lead Dundalk FC to their first league title in 30 years and who was tragically murdered in 1974 by paramilitaries during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The second feature is 'Deserter: The extraordinary story of Miodrag Belodedici', a documentary that retraces the actions taken by the former European champion with Steaua Bucharest and Red Star Belgrade when he decides flee Nicole Ceausescu's Romania - a decision which landed him with a ten-year prison sentence. Belodedici will talk about that event following the film. As always, admission is free but must be booked in advance HERE