A while back, we wrote about the new Maradona documentary which was to premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, albeit out of competition. The movie was directed by Asif Kapadia, the man behind Amy and Senna, two of the most acclaimed documentary films of the last decade. Well, after its first-ever screening, the reviews are in, and most critics are singing its praises.
But there’s one “endorsement” that stands out from the bunch, and that one is from El Diego himself, who absolutely hates it. But that’s not all. What’s most surprising is that Maradona hasn’t even seen the movie to begin with, and is basing his hatred solely on… the title.
For context, let’s compare Diego’s take on the film to other industry reviews:
– “A heady, engrossing, indulgently sprawling profile of a modern athlete in all his glory and contradiction,” says Variety;
– “Captures all the euphoria and catastrophe in a gripping documentary about the ‘hand of God’ megastar,” says The Guardian;
– “A gripping saga of soccer legend’s fall from grace,” says Indiewire;
– “I didn’t like the title and if I didn’t like the title, I’m not going to like the movie. Don’t go see it,” says Diego Maradona.
So why exactly is the title getting Diego so riled up? It turns out that the movie, simply titled Diego Maradona has a tagline in the poster that reads: “REBEL. HERO. HUSTLER. GOD.” And turns out that Diego has a bit of an issue with that third word right there. In an interview with Univisión, Diego explained: “I play football and I earn my job running after a ball. I absolutely never cheated anyone. If they want to put that in there to attract the public, I think they’re wrong.” It’s worth pointing out that Diego himself was interviewed on several occasions and that his own voice appears throughout the film.
This spat is great news for those of us that were fearful that the documentary would avoid touching on Maradona’s dark side in favor of glorifying the man – who certainly isn’t without his controversies, scandals, and blunders. The fact that the documentary doesn’t have his seal of approval probably means it’s an uncompromising look at Diego, both the good and the bad.
Since you are probably reading this while stuffed on the Subte B rather than in Cannes, check out the film’s trailer here: