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70 min. Romanian.

They talk about the beautiful game, but for Laurențiu Ginghină, it’s not enough. Football must be modified, streamlined, freed from restraints; corners are to be rounded off, players assigned to zones and subteams, norms revised. In retrospect, he first realized that the rules of football were wrong when he was tackled during a game in his youth, in the summer holidays, on another pitch now covered in snow, but in Vaslui, not Bucharest. The tackle hit so hard it fractured his fibula, a year later his tibia broke too, on New Year’s Eve 1987, he had to walk home in the snow and no one helped him. Today he’s a local bureaucrat with an uninspiring job, it’s no wonder he prefers to talk about the game, his own version of it, to Porumboiu, his friend, the director, who’s always listening, asking questions, nearly always in frame. Ginghină’s monologues are so rich you might think someone wrote them in advance, they proceed from the same old subject, but never stay in one place. All roads lead to football, but all roads lead away from it too, to land ownership issues, to orange farms in Florida, to political utopia and the traces left by life, to version 2.0, 3.1, 4.7, to infinity. (James Lattimer)

Corneliu Porumboiu was born in Vaslui, Romania in 1975. He studied Film Directing at the Ion Luca Caragiale National University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest from 1999 to 2003. In 2006, he made his first full-length feature film, 12:08 East of Bucharest, for which he also wrote the screenplay. Following Al doilea joc (2014), Fotbal infinit is his second full-length documentary film.

Close to heresy

One day, a childhood friend of mine told me that his brother, Laurentiu, had changed the rules of the game of football and had unsuccessfully tried to promote his new sport. More than ten years ago, Laurentiu had also told me about some new rules that would improve the football game. At that time, I did not take him seriously.
My father was a football player, then went on to become a referee. I also played football during my adolescence, thinking I might one day become a professional player. So for me, the idea of changing the rules was close to heresy. Yet I was intrigued that he had spent so much time trying to change the rules of football.
I wanted to know the history of Laurentiu’s new sport, from the moment he came up with the idea until the present day. I soon realised that a conflict was hiding behind his story – Rules versus Freedom, a theme I’ve always been interested in. So I had to make a film.
In my previous discussions with Laurentiu, I had avoided talking about the rules of his sport, as I wanted to discover them while shooting. With a small film crew, two camera operators and a sound recordist, I went to Vaslui, my hometown and also the town Laurentiu lives in, with the feeling that, even as a film director, I would be playing a different game altogether. (Corneliu Porumboiu)

Production Marcela Ursu. Production company 42 Km Film (Bucharest, Romania). Director Corneliu Porumboiu. Director of photography Tudor Mircea. Editing Roxana Szel. Sound design Alexandru Dragomir. Sound Osman Petrisor.

World sales MK2 Films


2000: Graffiti (7 min.). 2001: Love... sorry (5 min.). 2002: Post telefonic suspendat temporar / Telephone currently unavailable (14 min.), Pe aripile vinului / Gone with the Wine (9 min.). 2003: Călătorie la oraş / A Trip to the City (19 min.). 2004: Visul lui Liviu / Liviu’s Dream (39 min., Forum 2006). 2006: A fost sau n-a fost? / 12:08 East of Bucharest (89 min.). 2009: Poliţist, adjectiv / Police, Adjective (115 min.). 2013: Când se lasă seara peste Bucureşti sau Metabolism / When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism (89 min.). 2014: Al doilea joc / The Second Game (97 min., Forum 2014). 2015: Comoara / The Treasure (89 min.). 2018: Fotbal infinit / Infinite Football.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur