Africans Boots of Beijing Documentary
Africans Boots of Beijing is a documentary film about an African football team in Beijing. The film was produced, filmed and edited by Luke Mines and Jeremy Goldkorn, long-time residents of Beijing from the USA and South Africa.
Africans in China? Yes, there are thousands of them, and in Beijing they are an important part of a growing international community in China’s capital city. The Afrika United Football Club is one interesting part of the African community in Beijing, with players from across the continent.
Founded ten years ago by Coach Kagashani from Tanzania, the team serves as a pastime and social network for the players as they negotiate what is not always an easy existence in China. The team also has a few borderline professional players honing their game as they wait for a shot in a pro league in Asia or beyond.
The documentary follows Ethiopian Sam, the team’s dreadlocked, cigar-chomping manager, Kagashani, the founder, and other characters through a midseason stretch as they live and play soccer in China’s dynamic and changing capital.
Jose, the team’s Congolese captain, came to China in 1985 to study Chemistry. He still lives in Beijing and is happily married to a Chinese woman.
Sam, the team’s manager, fled Ethiopia in the 1970s, finding his way as a refugee in Los Angeles. He ended up in Beijing in the mid-1990s where he is a DJ and entrepeneur and fights hard to get his players into the professional game.
Star striker Steven, from Nigeria, has traveled halfway around the world to pursue his dream of becoming a professional player. From Cyprus to Beijing his skills have taken him to the brink, but at times his hot temper can get him into trouble.
Set to a soundtrack of blazing African music, the documentary is in English and Chinese, with English subtitles, along with the occasional burst of Hausa and Amharic.
“For ten years Afrika United F.C. has been a force in the amateur soccer leagues of Beijing, China. It is also a fascinating window into the growing African community in Beijing and the cross pollination among cultures that is occurring as the world grows ever smaller.
The documentary follows Sam, the team’s manager, Coach Kagashani, it’s founder, long time captain Jose and other characters through a midseason stretch as they battle a rival team, dream of making it as pros and negotiate life in the fast-changing city of Beijing.
Set to a soundtrack of blazing African music, the documentary is in English and Chinese, with English subtitles, along with the occasional burst of Hausa and Amharic. ”