“Maradona by Kusturica”, on LCP: when Diego dribbled Emir

Diego Maradona and Emir Kusturica in “Maradona by Kusturica”, by Emir Kusturica (2008).


On the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival, 2008 edition, the scene is unusual: two men, guests of honor at an unusual evening, juggle a soccer ball. Diego Maradona and Emir Kusturica came to Cannes for the release of Maradona by Kusturica, presented in Official Selection, out of competition.

What is it about ? From a strange filmed object, a mixture of close-up interviews, filmed archives, sometimes chaotic trips between Buenos Aires, Belgrade and Naples. Without forgetting extracts of the most beautiful goals of the Argentine idol, all presented with a unique sound illustration, namely the explosive God save the queen of the Sex Pistols.

Read also Maradona, a god in Cannes

A few days after the death of Diego Armando Maradona (1960-2020), The Parliamentary Channel has the good idea to program this film signed by the Serbian director, whose fascination for the “Pibe de oro” has never been a secret. Over time, the two men have forged a special relationship. Maradona trusts Kusturica. His clan, always very present (his wife, his two daughters, his agents), too. This does not prevent the difficulties encountered by the small film crew launched in his footsteps.

Shot between March 2005 and March 2007, this film does not hide the difficulties encountered by Kusturica to corner Maradona. Because, in civilian life as on land, Maradona is often elusive. And yet, in two years of sometimes delicate filming, Kusturica succeeds on several occasions in ” to stare “ her man. And to make him talk at length.

Stick closer to the idol

Facing the camera, far from the hustle and bustle but under the watchful eyes of his wife and daughters, Maradona launches into long monologues. He evokes, pell-mell, the Falklands, “Bush the assassin” and “Castro the great man”. The dignity of the poor of Fiorito, the slum where he was born, and his addiction to cocaine. “What a player I could have been if I hadn’t been addicted to coke! “, he launches, with a sad look, during an interview held in March 2007 in Buenos Aires.

Kusturica tries to stick as close as possible to the idol. In Buenos Aires, Diego is leading the way, including taking the director to the places of his childhood in Fiorito, where he had not set foot for fifteen years. Together in Naples, in June 2005, Maradona and Kusturica no longer master anything, let themselves be drawn into a hysterical whirlwind, facing fans in a trance screaming their love for the one who made Napoli a champion club in Italy.

But when Emir invites Diego to Belgrade, the two men finally find time to relax, to laugh, to juggle on the lawn of the Marakana stadium where, one evening in 1982, the Argentinian had scored a goal under the FC Barcelona jersey. anthology facing the Red Star. “I am an actor. The actors read a script but I don’t read, I live! “

Maradona by Kusturica, by Emir Kusturica (Fr.-Esp., 2008, 96 min).


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