Apple has three new short films out, and I really like two of them. They’re part of Apple’s ongoing World Cup tributes, but they’re local stories. I mean, really local stories about small, local teams, told through the eyes of one person. They’re also gorgeous, being shot on iPhone. Let’s start with my favorite.
The ’Wa’ of Soccer — Shot on iPhone
This one is set in Yatsushiro City, Japan, and told through the eyes of Kenshi Arifuji, a Buddhist monk. The piece is steeped in beautiful Japanese imagery, and it tells the story of how the monks play soccer (football) against local teams to learn more about themselves and connect with the community.
Above and beyond the great shots and imagery in this film, this quote really stood out for me: “We sometimes tell white lies and commit fouls [on the soccer field]. It’s like the embodiment of life’s struggle within the 90 minutes [of a game].”
That’s some philosophical stuff. Check it out, and note that the voiceover is in Japanese with subtitles.
The Heart of Australia — Shot on iPhone
This film is the story of Shadeene Evans, a 16 year old Aboriginal girl in the Northern Territory of Australia. Also filled with lovely imagery from Australia, Ms. Evans’s story is about how soccer has been an outlet for her to grow, and how empowering it’s been for her as a young woman.
Berlengas Island Cup 2018 — Shot on iPhone
The third in the series is in Portugese, and tells of a fierce, but seemingly friendly rivalry for two small local Portuguese soccer teams. They meet on neutral territory on an island off the coast of Portugal because they refuse to play on the other team’s pitch. It’s my least favorite of the three, but it’s still full of great Shot on iPhone shots.