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Black Diamond: Fool's Gold

Pascale Lamche / France - Belgique / 2010 / 101 ' / Anglais - Français


Alexandre Bruant & Rodolphe Molla
Olivier Raffet
Dominique Tibi & Patrick Quinet
Roche Productions

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This inventive doc tells the story of the political economy of soccer as a neocolonial project where Africa's young talent is exploited for Western profit


Black Diamond reveals the shameless trade in young African soccer players. The boys – as well as their families – are willing to bring huge sacrifices for a bright future as a professional football player, and to that end, they put their fate in the hands of criminal agents. Human trafficking is carried out for the sake of the worldwide soccer cult.

In the old days, it was called slavery; now, it’s called ‘business’, starting off with a local cheapjack and ending with an organized network. Intermediaries attract African boys on false promises about professional football careers in Europe and the Middle East, and bleed their families dry. Once in the plane, their destination is unknown.

French documentary maker Pascale Lamche takes us from the slums of Accra and Abidjan to the back rooms of one of the world’s highest-ranking football clubs and glittering sports temples. He puts us on the trail of Ananse, the spider, a sly, treacherous and manipulative character from an ancient folktale. Entire families are prepared to sacrifice their meagre belongings to Ananse. On the market where human beings are traded one finds no diamonds, but fool’s gold.