February 27, 2021

"Diego Maradona": A clay idol

Direction and script: Asif Kapadia. Speakers: Diego Armando Maradona, Corrado Ferlaino, Cristina Sinagra, Claudia Villafañe. United Kingdom, 2019. Duration: 130 min. Documentary film.

The critic Serge Daney reminded us that zoom was invented to record sports on television. He said it had nothing to do with the look but with something merely mechanical, "touch with the eye." Zoom, Daney believed, is not poetic at all. We would say that it is a small technological adventure devoid of a future. Do not see any transformation on the horizon. So he practices the documentary Asif Kapadia, with the automatic zoom. This critic thought as he saw Maradona running like a demon, cheating guided by "the hand of God" while he put a faked goal to England in the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup, dribbling and offering the fruits of his talent to a feverish public. As much as Maradona moves, and Kapadia's montage insists on recording that movement, everything is still. The British director is supposed to have handled five hundred hours of unpublished footage, but even for a football neophyte like this one, nothing seems different. Kapadia knows where he wants to go, that's why he jumps at the bullfighter the beginnings of the gaucho in Villa Fiorita, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, and his time at Barcelona, ​​with his millionaire signing. His arrival in Naples, which he saved from a mortal decline, means his definitive divinization, the surrender of a whole country at the feet of an idol that will be (like all) mud. There is his adultery, his relationship with the Camorra, his addiction to cocaine, his bipolarity with the Press. The insecure Diego, "with whom you could go to the end of the world", and the Maradona closed to lime and singing "with which you would not take a step". The popular icon, the public figure, the loudmouth and the devotee. There is, however, no truth that illuminates the legend, only a machinic approach, in simulacrum, that serves to construct a polyphonic discourse -like in "Amy", but without its psychophonic elegance-that qualifies the found footage. The zoom, then, seems to approach, but slips for fundamental issues – the national identity that defends an essentially capitalist sport, for example – without hardly touching them. It is obvious that Kapadia does not want to make a documentary that the experts in cultural studies applaud, but maybe it is what he played with Maradona, who is already too loaded with myths and «fake news» to reinforce his image with phosphorito. Two hours and ten are excessive for so little win.

. (tagsToTranslate) sergi sánchez

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