|  Book Tickets: 01/01/2006
  |  Watch Now: 13/10/2010
  |  73 min
Rated 12A by the BBFC


Once a friendship had developed between musician and filmmaker Fred Poulet and French soccer star Vikash Dhorasoo, they came up with the idea to make a personal, cinematic portrait of the soccer player during the buildup toward the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Poulet gave Dhorasoo a Super 8 camera that could be operated with only one button, while a DAT recorder provided for sound. Meanwhile, Poulet filmed the event from outside. The film begins hesitantly and remains somewhat hesitant, but this is what endows it with its unique appearance. After Zidane, portrait de XXIème siècle, a cinematographic tour de force about France’s most celebrated soccer player, Substitute at first looks like a rather noncommittal and amateurish account. Little by little, Dhorasoo’s limited filmmaking skills become a metaphor for his strictly directed life – virtually cut off from the outside world, he spends his days in hotel rooms. To his great disappointment, the coach plays him far less frequently than he had hoped. Dhorasoo’s personal outpourings, onscreen and on the phone with Poulet, offset our often idealised ideas about the lives of professional soccer players. Melancholy takes the place of euphoria, composure that of desire. Edited subtly and unpredictably, Poulet’s images and some German folk songs provide a sometimes moving, sometimes scathing framework. —International Documentary

Contains strong language
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