Jorge Cyterszpiler had the vision to make Diego Maradona's documentary for 40 years

Updated: Oct 10, 2019, 14:04 IST | Partnered Content |

Diego Maradona was considered the best player in the world from the moment he burst onto the scene in his native Argentina

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

The third film from the Academy Award and BAFTA-winning director behind SENNA and AMY, Asif Kapadia and producer Paul Martin constructed Diego Maradona's documentary from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from his personal archive with the full support by the man, Maradona himself. The movie is set to release to the Indian cinemas on October 11, 2019, by PVR Pictures.

Diego Maradona was considered the best player in the world from the moment he burst onto the scene in his native Argentina. And yet success proved elusive. He failed at Barcelona. He was considered a problem player, too interested in partying. Diego Maradona was blessed on the field and treated like a God off it; the charismatic Argentine loved a fight against the odds and led Naples to their first-ever League title. It was the stuff of dreams.

Asif Kapadia was first approached to make a Maradona movie by producer Paul Martin during the London Olympics in 2012, not long after the release of SENNA. Martin had uncovered a collection of remarkably candid footage, almost entirely unseen by audiences, and believed that Kapadia would be the ideal candidate to helm a feature documentary with this footage at its core.

"Paul and I spoke for a while but at that point I had just done a sports film and I wasn't in a hurry to do another one, even though I've always found Maradona a fascinating character," Kapadia recalls. "Having just made a film about a Brazilian racing driver, to make one about an Argentinian football player? I just wasn't sure that the timing was right. I wanted to do something a little different and so we made AMY."

That was the turning point. "We thought that this intimate footage felt like the inside track, if you like, on his personal archive. That was the meat and potatoes of that magical Naples period, right there." Asif adds.

Cyterszpiler had the vision to make a film way back in 1981 but it has taken almost 40 years for a true, in-depth cinematic feature to come to life. "In many ways," notes Kapadia, "we took on the job that Jorge started," Asif concludes.

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