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#PickoftheWeek | Documentary on World Cup construction workers
World Cup 2018 begins in Russia on June 14, and the quadrennial men’s soccer competition will garner an incredible amount of attention, but what about the unsung heroes?
The Museum of the Moving Image will screen The Workers Cup a dozen times between Thursday, June 7, and Sunday, June 17.
Construction is already underway in Qatar, where World Cup 2022 will take place. More than 1.5 million migrant workers will toil in the Middle Eastern country, building the soccer stadiums and office buildings that will be used in four years.
Just like the soccer stars, they come from all over the planet. They labor for 12 hours a day in extremely hot weather and dangerous conditions. (Remember the eight deaths related to construction of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.) But at night, they compete in a soccer tournament known as “The Workers Cup” in the same stadiums that they are building…and their idols will make sports history in 2022.
Debuting feature filmmaker Adam Sobel, who has contributed to The Guardian, BBC, and CNN, produced this 92-minute documentary, which follows the Gulf Construction Company squad through the 24-team annual championship. He focuses on six men – Kenneth and Samuel from Ghana, Paul from Kenya, Umesh and Sebastian (the manager) from India, and Padam from Nepal — who are united by their love of soccer and their need to leave their countries to better their economic situations. The competition gives them something to be passionate about while they deal with homesickness, isolation, and physical strain.
The Workers Cup will screen as per the following schedule: Thursday, June 7, 7:30 pm; Friday, June 8, 7:30 pm; Saturday, June 9, 1:30 pm; Saturday, June 9, 4:30 pm; Sunday, June 10, 1:30 pm; Sunday, June 10, 6:30 pm; Wednesday, June 13, 3 pm; Thursday, June 14, 3 pm; Friday, June 15, 7:30 pm; Saturday, June 16, 1:30 pm; Sunday, June 17, 1:30 pm; and Sunday, June 17, 4:30 pm.
General admission tickets are $15. The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District.
Images: The Workers Cup