Fred Poulet, Vikash Dhorasoo

France 2006

09.02. 17:30 CineStar 8 (Eng. subtitles)
10.02. 13:00 Cubix 7 (Ger. subtitles)
11.02. 22:45 Arsenal 1 (Ger. subtitles)
12.02. 20:00 Colosseum 1 (Ger. subtitles)

Download catalogue (PDF)


The football World Cup 2006 from the perspective of the French national player Vikash Dhorasoo and the writer and musician Fred Poulet. Both shoot footage with a super-8 camera: the one his everyday experiences as an increasingly frustrated substitute player for the Équipe tricolore; the other everything that happens during his travels throughout Germany and inside the stadium at all the French games.

Melancholy instead of euphoria, loneliness instead of "one-for-all-and-all-for-one"rhetoric, a tragic hero instead of a glorious athlete – Substitute is the other documentary football film. What begins as a World Cup adventure, full of hope, turns into the diary of a bitter disappointment. The father (trainer Domenech) rejects the son (Dhorasoo) who is worn down by the waiting, the boredom, and the self-doubt. Sixteen minutes on the field are too little to give him a sense of belonging. And even literature (Stefan Zweig, Fred Vargas, Jonathan Coe) and Neil Young's "Helpless" only help to a certain degree. Fortunately, there's the camera: if he can't play football, at least he can film! The medium of super-8 turns the gigantic event into a colorful, shaky, blurry, charming spectacle. A German hit song from the seventies gets the last word: "Later, that might be too late for me."

Birgit Kohler


Production: Local Films, Paris; Label Blue, Amiens

Cinematographers: Fred Poulet, Vikash Dhorasoo

Sound: Dominique Dalmasso

Editors: Fred Poulet, Sophie Bolze

Format: 35mm (shot on Super-8), Color

Running time: 72 minutes

Language: French