Beitar Jerusalem F.C. is the most popular and controversial football team in Israel, the only club in the Premier League never to sign an Arab player. Forever Pure follows the team as two Muslim players join the team for the first time and sent the club spiralling out of control.

COMPLETED 

Filmmakers: Maya Zinshtein
Year: 2016
Length: 85 mins
Country: Israel, UK, Ireland, Norway
Format: HD




STORY

Beitar Jerusalem F.C. is the most popular and controversial football team in Israel, the only club in the Premier League never to sign an Arab player. Mid-way through the 2012-13 season, a secretive transfer deal by the owner, Russian-Israeli oligarch Arcadi Gaydamak, brought two Muslim players from Chechnya. The deal inspired the most racist campaign in Israeli sport that sent the club spiralling out of control. One season in a life of this famed club is a story of Israeli society, personal identity, politics, money and a window into how racism is destroying a team and society from within.


PRESS

"One hell of a documentary" - The Hollywood Reporter

"Granted amazing access to all parties in the story, producer-director Maya Zinshtein, a Russian-born investigative journalist, smartly places her shocking portrait of a team and its fans in a broader sociopolitical context." - Alissa Simon, Variety

★★★★ - The Financial Times

"Illuminating" - Steve Zeitchik, LA Times

"Director Maya Zinshtein couldn’t have picked a better year to go in with her camera" - The Guardian

"A riveting portrait of football culture" ★★★★ - Susan Cole, NOW Magazine

"Memorable... in a year in which we have seen all over the world how easily a spark can turn into a fire of hatred, FOREVER PURE should serve as a cautionary tale about how we must work together to avoid the blaze." - Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“This is a eye-opening documentary that traces the tumultuous 2012-13 season, during which the political affiliations of a vocal group of the team’s loyal fans threatened to tear the club to pieces... [a] high quality-piece of factual filmmaking." - Wendy Ide, Screen Daily


FILMMAKER

Maya Zinshtein is an Israeli filmmaker and journalist, who emigrated from Russia during her childhood - now living in Tel Aviv. She holds a BA in Cinema and French studies, and an MA in Security and Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University. She has produced  documentaries, among them: Thieves by Law (by Alexander Gentelev, ARTE/ZDF), the inside story of Russian Mafia, Operation Successor (By Alexander Gentelev, Channel 1, Israel), about the 2008 presidential elections in Russia. For years as an investigative journalist (Haaretz newspaper) she covered many of the ills of Israeli society and directed investigative stories for Israeli channels.


CREDITS

Director: Maya Zinshtein

Producers: Maya Zinshtein and Geoff Arbourne

Executive Producers: John Battsek and Nicole Stott

Editors: Justine Wright and Noam Amit

Co-producers: Alan Maher and Torstein Grude

Director of Photography: Sergei (Israel) Freedman

Music: Stephen Rennicks

Story Consultant: Joe Bini


AWARDS

Jerusalem Film Festival 2016 -The Van Leer Award for Best Director of a documentary

Jerusalem Film Festival 2016 -The Haggiag Award for Best Editing

Jerusalem Film Festival 2016 -The Jewish Experience Awards - special mention

 

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Jerusalem Film Festival 2016

Toronto International Film Festival 2016

Zurich Film Festival 2016

DOC NYC 2016

IDFA Film Festival 2016

Watch Docs 2016

CPH:DOX 2017