Run time: 125 MINS

Director: Asif Kapadia     

Cast: Diego Maradona

Synopsis: On 5th July 1984, Diego Maradona arrived in Naples for a world-record fee and for seven years all hell broke loose. The world’s most celebrated football genius and the most dysfunctional city in Europe were a perfect match for each other. Maradona was blessed on the field but cursed off it; the charismatic Argentine, quickly led Naples to their first-ever title. It was the stuff of dreams. But there was a price… Diego could do as he pleased whilst performing miracles on the pitch, but when the magic faded he became a prisoner of the city.

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNaRrDX8MUc&t=1s

This third brilliant film from the Oscar and BAFTA winning director/writer/producer Asif Kapadia [Senna (2010) and Amy (2015)] is constructed from over 500 hours of often previously unseen footage, much of it from Maradona’s personal archive, with the full support of the man himself.

Kapadia’s two previous films, about Formula One driver Ayrton Senna and singer Amy Winehouse, were both critical and box office hits. Indeed, they are regarded as among the best documentaries ever made, so anticipation was high for Kapadia’s new film on the rise and spectacular fall of footballing legend Diego Maradona.

Maradona arrived in Naples for a world-record fee on 5 July 1984 and for seven years the world’s most celebrated football icon and the most passionate but dangerous city in Europe were a perfect match for each other. On the pitch, Maradona was a genius. Off the pitch, he was treated like a God – who needed bodyguards. The charismatic Argentine loved a fight against the odds, and he led Napoli to their first-ever title – the stuff of dreams. But there was a price. Diego could do as he pleased while performing miracles on the pitch but as time passed, darker days closed in.

Kapadia compellingly reveals his take on Maradona by sifting through a huge treasure trove of material and sources – television broadcasts, home movies, photographs and newspaper clippings. What emerges is an unforgettable story of talent, glory, corruption and ultimately redemption. Kapadia employs his trademark technique of mixing archive footage and candid interviews with the people closest to his subjects – including in this case, the man himself. Kapadia allows their voices to narrate a tragedy of Shakespearian proportion.

It throws a sinister spotlight on ‘the beautiful game’ and offers new perspectives – not only on the great talent that Maradona undoubtedly possessed and the controversy he created – but on the pressure cooker environment he lived in. Even non-football fans will be riveted by the human story behind the public image of Diego Maradona and how the sport he loved ultimately consumed him. 

Images courtesy of ALTITUDE