By, Kyle Gibson
Besides watching and writing about soccer, I also have developed a love of soccer films and documentaries. Many of these documentaries can be found in full on Netflix or Youtube. Each month, I will watch and review a soccer film that is available online and write about it– if it is worth watching.
This month, I watched the 2012 Vice documentary “Football’s Most Dangerous Rivalry.” The film chronicles the city of Glasgow’s Old Firm rivalry, between Rangers and Celtic, one of the most historic and brutal rivalries in any sport on earth. The two clubs at the time of the movie were the only heavy hitters in Scottish soccer and had been for 100 plus years.
For Celtic and Rangers, the rivalry is more than on the pitch, it’s also about socioeconomic and religious differences. Rangers fans are characterized as being more United Kingdom loyalists and protestants, while Celtic fans are seen as Irish and IRA supporters.
Honestly, until I watched this, I thought being British and Irish was fairly similar. This movie proves that I’m a dumb American in that regard.
The movie really does a good job of presenting both fan bases and their passion and cheers. The songs are often racist and patently offensive, but most die-hards pass it off as “banter.” The movie also follows along old leaders of the city’s hooligan days in the late 1980’s.
The film also does a good job at showing just what the fans think of the other club and its fans. Most of the characterizations can’t be mentioned on a family blog, but even those that said they didn’t mind the other club would generally stereotype the other set of supporters and still say harsh things.
This rivalry is not as big now as it was in the film and does not get played regularly, due to Rangers entering bankruptcy and folding from the Scottish top division. Scottish soccer has suffered from just having Celtic at the top as a result.
The movie is a short watch (45 minutes) and I would really recommend it to European soccer fans. The Old Firm rivalry might not be as big as the Manchester Derby or El Clasico, but no match meant more to its city, for the right and wrong reasons.
You can watch the film by checking out Vice on Youtube. Warning! This video’s language is not safe for work or children. My next film review will be One Night in Turin.