The very first Good Pitch film festival in Latin America will be hosted in Buenos Aires on Saturday, August 10, featuring the documentary Mujeres con Pelotas, which follows a group of young women in Buenos Aires who want nothing more than to play football.

Set in Villa 31, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, these women confront obstacles as simple as having to fight for field space, to more complex issues with family expectations, economic struggles, and sexism.  “My husband didn’t like me playing,” reported one player.  “[He said,] ‘You’re crazy!  You can’t play football.’”

Argentina’s general dismissal of women’s football is all the more surprising considering its female field hockey team is the reigning world champ and currently ranked second globally. Such a disparity is evidence that while women playing sports is socially accepted, football is still identified as a “man’s sport,” hence the title’s double entendre. Also these girls have some serious stones to stand up to the fútbol ideals that are so heavily entwined with Argentina’s histories and traditions.  We all know how much football is religion in this country. In light of the outsized role that the sport plays financially, culturally and politically, the bias against female players can be especially damaging.

More interest and funding from the Argentine Football Association, as well as the major clubs would go a long way in helping underprivileged women realize their football dreams and sparking a long-needed conversation on gender roles.

Other films to be shown at Good Pitch include El Vals de los Inútiles, a story of a Chilean student’s demand for free education in Chile, and Territorios, which documents the battle between the indigenous communities and agricultural and extractive industries in North Argentina.

Make the jump here to find out more about Mujeres con Pelotas.

If you’d like to support the film and its protagonists please visit Girl Footballers to the Movies.


(Photo by Maciej Okraszewski)