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About the Program
American Pharaoh goes behind the scenes with the Egyptian national soccer team — the “Pharaohs” — and its former coach, American Bob Bradley, to capture their historic attempt to reach the 2014 World Cup, which created intense national pride and sparked headlines across the globe.
The film by Egyptian filmmaker Hossam Aboul-Magd follows the team’s efforts to qualify for soccer’s ultimate event for the first time in more than 20 years. The program also illustrates the relationship in Egypt between soccer, the revolution and political activism. In production for more than two years, the film sets the soccer team’s challenge to succeed against the backdrop of the ongoing turmoil in Egypt.
Hossam Aboul-Magd, Soura Films
Bradley and the Pharaohs’ run for a World Cup berth was punctuated by obstacles — a popular revolution, military takeover, protests, a fatal and tragic riot and political strife — and it ended with a dream-crushing loss to the strongest team in the region, Ghana. However, through their hard push for World Cup qualifications, Bradley and his team won a string of stirring victories that transcended the playing field.
After a successful run as coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, reaching the second round in the 2010 World Cup, Bradley signed on to coach the Egyptian team in September 2011. Faced with ongoing violence and political upheaval within the country, the Pharaohs were the only team in the world to win every qualification game prior to a 6-1 regional loss to Ghana in October 2013. Bradley is now the manager of the Norwegian club Stabaek.
American Pharaoh follows Bradley — recently elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame — his wife, Lindsay, his staff and his players. In gaining access to the training camps and providing in-depth coverage of the Pharaohs’ games in Africa, the filmmaker documents the team’s personal and professional struggles to keep their eyes on the prize of reaching the World Cup while living in and representing a country in turmoil.
Produced by Soura Films, LLC