Hot Docs 2023: Our Review of ‘Allihopa: The Dalkurd Story’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Hot Docs 2023 by - May 02, 2023
Hot Docs 2023: Our Review of ‘Allihopa: The Dalkurd Story’

ISIS is losing to many forces in the Middle East including Kurdish forces, the latter group using more legitimate ways to attain nationhood. But while nationhood seems like a faraway dream, the Kurdish find themselves in diasporic communities like the one in Sweden.

In 2004, members of the Kurdish community near the Swedish city of Uppsala founded their own football club, Dalkurd FF. Allihopa: The Dalkurd Story captures Dalkurd’s story more than a decade later, in 2017. The documentary captures the rigorous practice sessions before their last three games. They only need to win own to become a member of the Swedish Premier League.

Viewers see the team’s struggle through the gaze of director Kordo Doski, who mostly succeeds in his goal to incorporate Dalkurd’s story within a bigger picture. He shows the practices as well as the people back in Kurdistan, who are holding elected referendums for their statehood.

Doski also shows Dalkurd’s relationship with Sweden as a whole. And that some of that dynamic have factors they can’t control. He talks to an older Swedish lady who laments the lack of altruism within Swedish culture. She also implies that immigration is too fast. And with that, I commend his restraint.

Doski’s choice to see the big picture sometimes omits the people who are close to the team. The documentary, to my memory, shows its founder three times and that doesn’t feel enough. Showing the administrative side may provide more insight to the team’s needs for funding as opposed to showing it as a bare fact.

But while people on the middle circle don’t get enough screen time, Doski does well in focusing on the team’s players. One of those players is Pasha, who recovers from injuries in this important season. He still trains, reflecting the documentary’s objective to win.

  • Release Date: 4/29/2023
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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