It’s an old story: in the past, it was known as the slave trade, now it’s simply a business ranging from amateur operators to an organized network. The film sketches the portrait of an anarchic and international network of speculators and traffickers of young African boys, under the aegis of the global football cult. From the hovels of Accra and Abidjan to the gleaming temples of sport financed by petrodollars, it takes us on the trail of Ananse the Spider, an ancestral folklore figure, who tricks, cheats and manipulates his peers. Entire families are ready to sacrifice their only possessions to it. While on the human market, if the diamond is lacking, the gold of madmen will do the job.
The notion of the black athlete as slave certainly isn’t a new one; articles and books equating the 2 have been written, most recently the book by New York Times sports columnist, William Rhoden, titled Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Black Athlete.
Baff Akoto’s 2010 documentary, Football Fables, which we covered on this site, touches on what Black Diamond purports its explore specifically and clinically. So I expect a much more damning expose of African football (or what we in the states call soccer) migration.
The film is currently playing the film festival circuit. I hope it comes my way.
Here’s a trailer: