Never Conquered

In this piece created for Independent Lens by filmmaker Mat Hames, we get to know more about Eastern Shoshone tribal elder Philbert McLeod, one of the stars of Hames’ Independent Lens documentary What Was Ours. Philbert had an incredible breadth of knowledge about his tribe’s history, and fought for America in Vietnam, for which he … READ MORE

I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, a radical narration about race in America, using the writer’s original words, as read by actor Samuel L. Jackson. Alongside a flood of rich archival material, the film draws upon Baldwin’s notes on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and … READ MORE

Forever Pure: Updates on the Main Players

Check out this gallery of updates from the past year on all the main players featured in Forever Pure, from former owner Arcadi Gaydamak to players Zaur Sadayev, Dzhabrail Kadiyev, and Ariel Harush, to coach Eli Cohen, and the La Familia fan group. Click on any image for a slideshow:

Forever Pure – La Familia Leads Beitar Boycott – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary Forever Pure, the stands at Israeli soccer club Beitar F.C.’s Teddy Stadium are empty after a mass fan boycott organized by La Familia, the team’s powerful right-wing fan fan bloc. Fans stay away from a game to protest the team having added two young Muslim players from … READ MORE

Forever Pure – Full Film

Beitar Jerusalem Football Club, formed in 1936, is the most popular and controversial soccer team in Israel, a symbol of right-wing politics and the only club in the Premier League never to sign an Arab player. Midway through the 2012-13 season a secretive transfer by the owner, Russian-Israeli oligarch Arcadi Gaydamak, brought two Muslim players … READ MORE

Israeli Soccer Club Crests and Logos

By Kevin Koczwara Soccer is a global game that brings people together, or so we’re told. Kids across the world pick up the game, playing in fields, on side streets, empty lots or in some cases docked barges or refugee camps. It’s a game that can unite people. It can bring about a democratic revolution … READ MORE

Maya Zinshtein Explores How Soccer and Racism Intersected in Israel

Israeli journalist-filmmaker Maya Zinshtein is in many ways the perfect person to make a film about the combustible story of Beitar Jerusalem FC, the Israeli soccer club which imploded when bringing in two foreign Muslim players led to boycotts and threats from the anti-Muslim, rabidly racist fan group La Familia. Zinshtein is herself an “outsider” … READ MORE

They Call Us Monsters – Juan’s Unrequited Crush – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film They Call Us Monsters, teenager Juan, who is incarcerated for 90 years-to-life for first degree murder, talks about the girl he’s had a crush on since kindergarten and may never have a chance to tell her how he really feels given his situation. Juan, who is learning … READ MORE

The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh proceeds from the premise that the Holocaust would seem to be an absolutely off-limits topic for comedy. But is it? History shows that even the victims of the Nazi concentration camps themselves used humor as a means of survival and resistance. The Last Laugh weaves together an intimate portrait of Auschwitz survivor … READ MORE

The Last Laugh – From the Holocaust to Rwanda – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film The Last Laugh, Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone talks about how her late husband missed some terrible things happening in the modern world, like 9/11, and Rwanda, which she had just visited. “The stories I heard there, also, just unimaginable.” In Rwanda, she notes, 1 million Tutsis were … READ MORE

Forever Pure – “We Have Arabs in Our Team?” – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary Forever Pure, Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev, two young, Muslim soccer players who were brought over from Chechen to play for the popular team Beitar FC in Israel, begin training and are greeted angrily by a rowdy, anti-Muslim group of Beitar fans at the training field. While … READ MORE

Forever Pure – Beitar’s Billionaire Owner – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary Forever Pure, we meet Arcadi Gaydamak, controversial Russian-Israeli billionaire owner of Israeli soccer team Beitar FC. Gaydamak admits he’s not much of a soccer fan but the team’s power and influence were very appealing to someone with designs on becoming mayor of Jerusalem. “It’s a very interesting … READ MORE