The Football Factory
|German title||The Football Factory|
|Original title||The Football Factory|
|Country of production||Great Britain|
|Age rating||FSK 16|
The Football Factory is a feature film by director Nick Love about English hooligans from 2004, which was released directly on DVD in Germany a year later . The film is based on the novel The Final Kick by John King .
The film follows the hooligan Tommy Johnson in the vicinity of the London football club Chelsea FC , who goes to football games with his friends who seek violence in order to fight with opposing thugs. The hooligans are organized in groups, which they call "The Firms" (originally The Firms ). In order to avoid the observation and intervention of the police, the brawls are deliberately carried out outside the stadiums.
In the life of the group around leader Harris, violence is primarily concerned with excessive drug use , especially in the form of alcohol and cocaine . Some members of the company are also involved in drug trafficking. The second man behind Harris is Billy Bright, who would like to be the leader of the group himself. However, his leadership qualities are questioned because he is a hothead and has already endangered the group by starting brawls in risky situations (outnumbered and the presence of police officers), which then leads Harris to want to drop him off. The film also describes the background of some characters: while the young Zeberdee and his friend live from crime, others lead a bourgeois existence.
Tommy Johnson's life so far is upside down when he begins to question his lifestyle for the first time. He is plagued by nightmares in which he sees himself lying on the floor covered in blood and a masked person introduces himself as dead. He also has hallucinations during the day and sees the statements "Think about it, Tom" and "Is it worth it, Tom?" In shop windows and on posters. Johnson had also recently fought with the brother of the Millwall FC arch-rival leader , and the clubs will soon be clashing in cup competition . On this occasion there is also a decisive argument between the two warring groups.
Tommy ends up badly injured in the hospital and wonders again whether it was all worth it. When he walked on a crutch and was able to go back to his pub weeks later and saw his friends, he answered this question immediately with an unequivocal "yes", which finally suppressed the previous, carefully questioning confrontation with senseless violence and the violence now as something positive that belongs to his life.
In the end, Zeberdee dies, as Tommy had foreseen in his nightmares, but not in a fight: when Tommy slips him a small packet of cocaine for personal use in a pub, he retires to the toilet to consume it, where a drug dealer takes him follows that he had previously robbed. He shoots Zeberdee. At the end you learn what has become of the other protagonists: Billy Bright is sentenced to seven years in prison for his many previous deeds and violations of the probation conditions, Tommy's friend Rod leads a civil life as the owner of an air conditioning company, Harry continues to lead the group Tommy lives on as a hooligan.
"In terms of staging, the milieu study moves in the 'Trainspotting' area, relies on speed, contemporary techno sound and gallows humor, but hardly tries to find reasons for the frightening propensity to violence of alleged fans."
Director Nick Love tries so desperately to make this movie the hooligan's version of Trainspotting. But where Danny Boyle's classic showed the darker side of the drug world, this movie does nothing to illustrate consequences of such violence. The fights, while brutal, lack believability as victims take their kickings only to return with a few bruises and the odd bandage. In one scene a rival is hit across the head with a cricket bat, only to be seen out the following night with a large bandage on his head. This only serves to make the violence less of a deterrent and more of an acceptable part of life that has little consequences.
“Director Nick Love is desperate to turn the film into the hooligan version of Trainspotting. But where Danny Boyle's classic showed the darker side of the drug world, this film does nothing to show the consequences of such violence. The brutal fights lack credibility as the victims take their kicks and only reappear with a few bruises and a strange bandage. In one scene a rival is hit with a cricket bat on the head, only to be shown the following night while going out with only a large bandage on his head. This is only to make violence a less daunting part and more an acceptable part of life that has little consequence. "
Plays to the thug mentality of a small percentage of so-called football fans. [...] Glorifies hooligans and violence.
“It glosses over the racket mentality of a small percentage of so-called soccer fans. [...] Glorifies hooligans and violence. "
- Although the film doesn't tell a true story, there are parallels to the real (former) hooligan groups Headhunters ( Chelsea ) and Bushwhackers ( Millwall ). In order to make the fight scenes more authentic, extras were filmed, among other things, who were either active or former hooligans.
- The film Hooligans deals with a similar topic .