As some of you may have noticed, we’ve restarted the “Video Of The Week” section on the site, and this week we have a particular treat for you in the form of the outstanding BBC documentary from 2003, “Football & Fascism”. This film traces the link between three fascist dictators of the twentieth century – Mussonlini, Hitler and Franco – and football, focussing on Mussolini’s, ahem, “hands on” approach towards the 1934 World Cup finals, the importance placed upon Germany’s performances at the 1936 Olympic Games and the 1938 World Cup finals and General Franco’s use of Real Madrid to bolster his popularity in Spain.
That this is a BBC documentary is, of course, as much as you need to know in so far as an assurance of quality is concerned. Excellently researched, with some fascinating archive footage (the 1934 World Cup finals, for example, come alive before your very eyes in a way that is seldom seen elsewhere) and interviews with both historians and players that were there at the time, this is essential viewing to understand how football, for an ideology that was fundamentally atheist, was plied into being, to a lesser or greater extent, an opiate for the masses. It is critical that we remember that, just as the game can be a force for good, it can also be a force for evil and that which of those paths it takes is, as supporters, down to us.
Since this video has been uploaded to YouTube, it comes in six ten minute long chunks. It is, regrettably, not available to buy on DVD as yet.
Our thanks go to the original uploader.