Segments in this Video

Introduction: Football and Freedom (01:31)


Seth Hutchens hails from the wealthy white suburbs of Johannesburg. Thuso Phala grew-up in the poor townships of Soweto. The two gifted players try to become stars in the new South Africa.

Football Tournament (03:31)

In May 1999, Hutcheons and Phala are among 16 teenagers picked to represent their province in a one-off tournament. The teens discuss their backgrounds, including the death of Phala’s father during a carjacking.

Scouting a Game (02:32)

The team makes it to quarter finals of the tournament and needs to impress talent scouts. Hutcheons makes a big impression playing striker, but Phala must work harder to get noticed during a brief appearance as midfielder.

Racial Tensions (06:56)

Hutcheons receives an invitation to try out for a major international club, Ajax Amsterdam. Tensions develop between Hutcheons and some of the black players who sing Apartheid-era, anti-white songs. Just one in 200 players who try out will be selected.

School Commute (03:55)

Phala and his mother Susan make an hour-long journey from Soweto to Johannesburg; the private school was designated for whites only during apartheid. Thuso’s mother and grandmother run a shop to pay his fees, even as they face eviction.

School of Excellence (05:12)

Phala tries out with thousands of hopefuls for the national academy in Johannesburg. He waits several hours for his turn and receives 10 minutes to demonstrate his skills. Susan Phala has a new business to pay for school.

Ajax Amsterdam Acceptance (03:36)

Hutcheons learns he made the cut with Ajax; he will move to the club’s Cape Town base in January. Susan learns her son was not accepted into the School of Excellence.

Championship Bout (03:34)

Hutcheons’ dad describes his experience as the victim of a carjacking. Hutcheons and Phala face each other from opposite sides of the pitch for the first time as their clubs meet in the league finals.

Youth Tournament (02:22)

Susan becomes the victim of a carjacking. Hutcheons travels to Liverpool to participate in an international tournament. His parents believe white children have fewer opportunities than black children.

Team Attitude (02:51)

The Liverpool tournament gives Hutcheons his first experience of international football. His team is routed after staying up half the night at a disco. Hutcheons is criticized for not passing enough and being disrespectful.

Football Trial in Leeds (04:56)

Susan is behind on her son’s school fees; she has had to find money for legal costs to fight the eviction. In December, the Phalas receive good news after contacting Lucas Radebe.

Hutcheons' Contract (01:58)

Hutcheons signs a two-year contract with Ajax Amsterdam before heading to the club’s Cape Town headquarters. He goes shopping, explains how his contract is structured, and argues with his dad over who will manage his money.

Sports and Personal Conflict (03:27)

Phala’s promised Leeds tryout has yet to materialize; the eviction threat hangs over his family. Phala attends the local catholic school, having lost his spot at his previous school. Hutcheons breaks his contract with Ajax.

Future in Sports (02:14)

The Phala family eviction case goes to trial, but Thuso’s grandmother refuses to testify. Hutcheons signs with the Rangers FC. Phala joins Silver Stars, a Premier Soccer League club.

"Black Sport" (09:52)

Phala stays out all night before a match; he arrives late and hung over but scores the winning goal. Hutcheons prepares for a Rangers FC match. He and his father complain that Africans have an unfair advantage in sport.

Credits: Football and Freedom (00:56)

Credits: Football and Freedom

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Football And Freedom

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Thuso and Seth are talented, teenage footballers with dreams of superstardom. The main difference between them is their color: Thuso is black and lives in Soweto, while Seth is white and from Johannesburg. Filmed over five years, this documentary follows their progress on the pitch, at school and at home. Does the Rainbow Nation really offer a level playing field to black and white youngsters 10 years after their country's first multiracial elections?

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL185388

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

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