The Return of Film Wednesdays Begins with, "The Referees"
11 April 2012
Shetland Arts announces the return of Film
Wednesdays at The Garrison Theatre: a programme of independent and
classic cinema for film-lovers, and invites you to get in the mood
for the European Football Championship on Wednesday 11th
April with a screening of The Referees, a documentary by
Yves Hinant and Jean Libon.
The film makers were granted unprecedented
access to the referees and linesmen who officiated at the 2008
European Football Championship, and for the first time on the big
screen we get to share the tensions and challenges faced by the
'Men in Black' (or in this case, in pale
The life of a referee is hard enough even
at a local level, but by the time it reaches European and world
scale, the pressures on the refs and their colleagues are
horrendous. With their every decision criticised and scrutinised by
fans, managers, and pundits all over the world, they are arguably
more vulnerable and lonely than the players
themselves. When Howard Webb granted a penalty
in the final minutes of the Austria v Poland game, he received
death threats from Polish fans and his wife was intimidated at her
own front door. An innocent Yorkshire council official who was
unfortunate to share the same name received so many abusive e-mails
that the council had to suspend his internet
account. It takes a lot of courage to stand up
against furious players coaches, managers and crowds. Their
integrity, as well as the ball, is right there on the
The Referees offers a
unique insight into the lives of men such as Howard Webb, Manuel
Mejuto González, Roberto Rosetti and Peter Fröjdfeldt and discovers
that they are, as we suspected all along, only human. So it must be
galling for them to put up with hearing that everyone knows their
job better than they do (and that everyone thinks they could do it
better). And it's hardly 'only a game' when the police have to
provide security for your family.
But it is their loyal families - and their
colleagues - that see them through their ordeals and their
triumphs. To their families at least, they are heroes.
The film carries a 15 certificate and is partly sub-titled.
Tickets are available from Shetland Box Office at Islesburgh, 01595
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