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Maradona: Larger than real, larger than reel

Movies | ibnlive.com | May 21, 2008, 2:58 am
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 Maradona says biographers and filmmakers have made up stories about him, painted him as a force of evil and even dared to brand him mediocre. At last, he says, someone has his story right.
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Maradona says biographers and filmmakers have made up stories about him, painted him as a force of evil and even dared to brand him mediocre. At last, he says, someone has his story right.

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 The movie puts a spotlight on the cult of personality around the 47-year-old Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title and the final in 1990. <br><br>Hilarious footage shows followers of the 'Maradonian Church' formed by worshipping fans, who sing his name to the tune of 'Ave Maria', build religious shrines to him and even celebrate a wedding in his honor.
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The movie puts a spotlight on the cult of personality around the 47-year-old Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title and the final in 1990.

Hilarious footage shows followers of the 'Maradonian Church' formed by worshipping fans, who sing his name to the tune of 'Ave Maria', build religious shrines to him and even celebrate a wedding in his honor.

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 Director Emir Kusturica (R) poses with Maradona. Kusturica's movie also explores Maradona's past cocaine use, his relationship with his two daughters and his political side. <br><br>On screen, Maradona shows off his tattoo of Fidel Castro. He says he would never shake hands with Prince Charles. And he calls President Bush a 'piece of human garbage'.
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Director Emir Kusturica (R) poses with Maradona. Kusturica's movie also explores Maradona's past cocaine use, his relationship with his two daughters and his political side.

On screen, Maradona shows off his tattoo of Fidel Castro. He says he would never shake hands with Prince Charles. And he calls President Bush a 'piece of human garbage'.

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 ''It seems that when you become a well-known figure you aren't allowed to talk about the United States or Bush,'' Maradona told reporters.
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''It seems that when you become a well-known figure you aren't allowed to talk about the United States or Bush,'' Maradona told reporters. "There are a lot of subjects that you aren't allowed to talk about anymore. But Emir showed me the respect that every human being deserves. Even if you're a soccer player, you have the right to express your opinions about somebody who's a murderer."

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 While Maradona's rivalry with Brazilian great Pele doesn't come up in the film, it did at the Cannes news conference, where Maradona insisted he was the greater player - a viewpoint disputed by many soccer fans.
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While Maradona's rivalry with Brazilian great Pele doesn't come up in the film, it did at the Cannes news conference, where Maradona insisted he was the greater player - a viewpoint disputed by many soccer fans.

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 One distraction in the movie is that Kusturica, a two-time winner of Cannes' top prize, appears in the film nearly as often as Maradona.<br><br>Kusturica argues that Maradona could have been a character in one of his own absurdist movies, and to prove the point he includes film clips from them -  a device Maradona fans might find annoying.
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One distraction in the movie is that Kusturica, a two-time winner of Cannes' top prize, appears in the film nearly as often as Maradona.

Kusturica argues that Maradona could have been a character in one of his own absurdist movies, and to prove the point he includes film clips from them - a device Maradona fans might find annoying.

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 Former soccer star Diego Maradona balances a ball on his head during a photocall for 'Maradona by Kusturica' by Serbian director Emir Kusturica at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 20, 2008. <i>(Pics: Reuters, Text: AP)</i>
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Former soccer star Diego Maradona balances a ball on his head during a photocall for 'Maradona by Kusturica' by Serbian director Emir Kusturica at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 20, 2008. (Pics: Reuters, Text: AP)

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