A long sea voyage and overweight players, first kick-off in snow flurries, rumors of bribery attempts, stadiums that turn from witches‘ cauldrons to a madhouses, 1.666 revolvers were confiscated, militiamen securing the field with carbines and bayonets fixed, fans on boats running aground from excessive partying, a tumultuous final that sends the host nation into an ecstatic frenzy while the finals referee fled the country. Welcome to the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930!
THE STORY OF THE FIRST WORLD CUP
There is no event in the world that attracts as much attention as a football World Cup. The popularity of this tournament, hosted by the World Football Association FIFA, reaches an audience of billions every four years. But what was it like in the early days, how did this tournament come about in the beginning, who were those who launched the first World Cup?
Crowds flocked to the stadiums when the Uruguayan team won the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris and 1928 in Amsterdam. Fifa President Jules Rimet and the Uruguayan diplomat Enrique Buero negotiated a first World Cup in Montevideo in 1930. But an initial friendship turned into a rivalry, intrigues and a world economic crisis threatened to derail the planned tournament. When the World Cup finally took place, the incredible story of a furious tournament interspersed with curiosities, emotions and turbulence began.
In a narrative way our film describes the untold story of this event, the backgrounds, the course and the aftermath of the 1930 tournament of Montevideo, that went down in history as the big bang of world football. Previously unused original archive material is used here. Shown are scenes from the 1930 World Cup matches, protagonists, spectators and events, precursors of public viewing, newsreels and events surrounding the tournament, filmed by Max Glücksmann, the legendary pioneer of the South American film and music industry of the 1920s and 1930s.
In addition, we shoot on original locations in Uruguay, Argentina, England and France. World Cup players, historians and football experts from all over the world take a stand on questions that were as relevant then as they are today: How much commercialization and politicization can the „beautiful game“ tolerate? Is football a message of peace and international understanding, or does it symbolize violence? What role do antagonisms and prejudices play in the world’s biggest sporting event?