Diego Maradona 2019 ***

Asif Kapadia returns to the super-doc format that brought us Senna and his Amy Winehouse film; football fans who saw the infamous 1986 Argentina-England ‘hand of god’ game couldn’t be blamed for thinking Maradona was more twit than talent. As a prostitute-banging, coke-snorting egomaniac cheat, Maradona doesn’t offer much as someone to hero-worship; this film starts with him heading to Naples in 1984, wowing the locals and crime-bosses alike, and then Kapadia positions the Argentina vs Italy 1990 World Cup match in the same city as the moment that the Italian public, and much of the world, turned against him. It’s interesting to see Maradona sporting a ‘man fur’ ie a Doris Day-style fur coat, and there’s some slabs of vapour-wave music to capture the 80’s theme. But it’s not a complete picture, nor a particularly deep one, and there’s also a big problem. Football isn’t filmed, it’s captured on tv, and when you blow tv footage up to cinema screens, it looks like dirt. If Maradona has any fans left, this doc may be an eye-opener, but in lieu of any new information, the unfortunate fact remains that Maradona is best known today as an unscrupulous cheat rather than a sporting god.


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