Issa is a football player from Guinea-Bissau who, like many other African young men, looks for an opportunity to play in Portugal and thus reach the top leagues, fulfilling his dream of going pro. In order to tell this fictional story, José Magro, who believes that “reality is always stranger than fiction”, uses a hybrid style, in a register closer to documentary filmmaking, in which, beyond mere narrative, the viewer watches the very making of the film. With this intention, he created the characters of two filmmakers who follow Issa’s trajectory, in their research for a documentary about African footballers playing in Portugal, so often unprotected and victims to unscrupulous managers or clubs that do not comply with their contracts. We don’t see either the ball or the match, only Issa’s loneliness, in a movie that, more than football, is about the dreams that remain unfulfilled.
José Magro is a director and screenwriter based in Porto, Portugal. His fiction films have been awarded and selected for film festivals all over the world, including Tampere, Vienna, São Paulo, Guadalajara, Melbourne and Cork.