Riverrun Festival: Forever Pure Screening Reaction

On Sunday evening I went to my first ever film festival.  It was the RiverRun Festival in downtown Winston-Salem.  I was impressed with the organization of the festival, but what I want to talk about more is how impressed I was with the documentary film I saw, Forever Pure.


The film followed the Israeli soccer team Beitar Jerusalem FC.  A team with a die hard fan base, however their fan base showed their true colors when two Islamic Chechen players joined the team after an exhibition match in Chechnya.  Some of the fans turned on their team and berated the players and management.  They even boycotted games.  The film analyzes how the conflict between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East stems further than the government and affects the people at their core and can affect things like sports.  The fans demanded that their team remain without Muslim players and eventually their hatred won out.  The ending was not good in that regard, but did show that the players that struggled the most out of the situation ended up in better situations after the season in the closing credits.  One of the Chechen players is now a star in the Polish Premier League.

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3 Responses to Riverrun Festival: Forever Pure Screening Reaction

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I think it’s hard for a documentary to have a traditional good ending if the filmmakers are being truly objective and showcasing exactly what happened. Is it even the job of a documentary to have a “good ending”?
    – Russell

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with Russell. Even though the player did end up being great players on other teams, I wish they hadn’t mentioned this in the documentary because it creates a “oh it’s okay, everyone ended up happy” mentally that will never implement change.


  3. mediaphiles says:

    I am left without words while thinking about this. I cannot imagine what it would be like to sign a professional contract and then for fans to boycott the team until I no longer played for the Club. I do appreciate that this film bought light to the issue, although I do agree with Katherine, in that you would not want to downplay the issue.

    Luke Dellorso

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