COPA90 caught up with film director, Andreas Bjunér, as he talked us through the Showcase film and what it was like to interview Hammarby icon, Kennedy.
How much does Kennedy mean to the Hammarby community?
He's truly a living legend among Hammarby supporters. Kennedy was a key player when we took home the title for the first, and so far only, time in 2001, and he was a key player when we were promoted back to Allsvenskan, the Swedish Premier League, in 2012, after some years in the second division.
Why do you think he felt so attached to the club?
As a young promising player, Kennedy was open to Hammarby's supporters and they in return gave him a lot of love. It was the start of a love story that never seems to end. In that regard, Kennedy is the exact opposite of Hammarby's new owner, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Kennedy would never do what Zlatan did to his old club, Malmö FF. Kennedy really loves Hammarby and his supporters just as much as Hammarby's fans love him. It is a love story on equal terms.
How is Kennedy considered by other fans of Swedish football?
He’s held in very high regard, even among local rivals, Djurgården and AIK. Players with a big club heart often win that respect.
What was the process of interviewing him like?
Our goal was to interview him at his home. At first, he was not entirely comfortable with the idea – I don't think he usually let journalists come home to him. But in the end, he welcomed us.
When we got there he stood and vacuumed his apartment, asking if we wanted something to drink. That is so typical Kennedy. We only interviewed him on one occasion, but I’d prepared the questions weeks in advance.
Is he still present in Södermalm and at the club?
Without a doubt. He watches every home game and still has ongoing contact with the fans. After the beer incident, he also released his own beer label, KX, and a couple of weeks ago, when I was shopping at my local grocery store here in Södermalm, he stood there, surrounded by some elderly gentlemen and promoted the beer. Many are now wondering when he’ll get his own statue in the Södermalm district.
What is it about catching a beer that connects with the Bajen mentality?
As you may have understood by now, Hammarby comes from the Södermalm district in Stockholm. An area that was once a place for the working class, but today has been transformed into a fairly rigid hipster center.
The classic image of a Hammarby supporter is a ‘beer-loving unemployed daydreamer’. Essentially a loser, just like the club. That loser image is certainly changing as the club gets better, but the connection to partying and beer drinking is still strong among the supporters, which is not least heard in the chants during matches.