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Reviewing SATURDAY: A Short Film about Hillsborough

Last week was the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster and we saw the soccer community come together, as they often do, to remember 96 victims and their families. One of the standout pieces of media that we saw was SATURDAY. The short, 15-minute film debuted at Sundance Film Festival in 2015, but was recently put on Vimeo, free to the public and as a staff pick.

SATURDAY takes a new approach to telling the story of the events of April 15, 1989. Writer/Director Mike Forshaw takes a more personal approach by focusing on just one family from Liverpool and following each family separately through their day: a mother, going about her Saturday with house chores; a father, watching the game at a local Liverpool bar; an eldest son attending the game in Sheffield with friends; and a younger son, who runs out to play soccer with neighborhood friends.

The film uses great foreshadowing to alert the audience of the looming disaster; in the dad’s bar and at the younger son’s pickup match, images and situations appear that mirror aspects of the tragedy. However, for an audience without innate knowledge of the events that transpired, the film only alludes to Hillsborough without ever going into or showing the true events. With a full grasp of the situation, the film is a great intimate perspective of how the events at Hillsborough sent shock waves across all of England and all of whom that were involved. Without this knowledge, the film can come off as a bit anti-climatic as well as hard to follow. The tragedy is only directly addressed by television news channels reporting on the events that are playing in the background. Overall, this short film is a must-see for every Liverpool and English soccer fan that knows about the events that transpired that day. It is shot beautifully and takes a really creative approach to telling a story that has been told so many times. It is quite heavy and will probably leave you on the verge of tears; however, the new perspective that it will give you is well worth the momentary sadness.You can watch SATURDAY here. Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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