11 years in the making, 250 hours of footage, 86 travels and hundreds of miles walked on foot to prove that the world of the fans of the Ruch Chorzów football club is not just black-and-white. Cezary Grzesiuk, director, and Paweł Labe, director of photography, met with the viewers after the first screening of ‘Blue Scallywags’ in the Pod Baranami Cinema.
‘Blue Scallywags’ is a documentary about the Silesian football fan community and their commitment to the club. For years, Cezary Grzesiuk has followed the footsteps of the fans of Ruch Chorzów in search of the reason why football fanatics have sacrificed their life to the local team.
The director seems to have accomplished the impossible – he made it inside the closed, and often dangerous world of football fans and portrayed histories from the very heart of the stadium. ‘Gaining the trust of the protagonists was most time-consuming. We spend the first two years getting to know who would let us film at all and was willing to tell their story.’ – the director described the hardships of the making of the film – ‘When we personally stood face to face with the football fans for the first time, we were full of fear. I was afraid throughout the entire period of making the film. This was a result of our prejudice and surety that the life of football fanatics is black and white. I was so sure that their world was full of threats.’ – explained the director – ‘And yet, after this film, I’m not afraid of football fans any more. I am, however, still afraid of the police’.
W rozmowie z widzami Cezary Grzesiuk opowiadał, że największym wyzwaniem dla opowiedzenia tej historii było nawiązanie porozumienia z bohaterami. – Nie raz razem musieliśmy uciekać przed gazem łzawiącym i płakać pod płotem równo z kibicami, wtedy też w naturalny sposób zyskaliśmy ich zaufanie. To był proces. Zobaczyłem, że ten ich świat ma dużo innych odcieni i wówczas, stopniowo bohaterowie nam zaufali, zrozumieli, że mamy z operatorem dobre intencje. O powodach realizacyjnych Cezary Grzesiuk mówił wprost. – Nie przypuszczałem, że to będzie pełny metraż, ten film był po za marzeniami a jednak – udał się! Zafascynowała mnie malarskość tego środowiska, czułem że to jest mocny temat. Film mówi o tym, jak klub się zmienia, jak to środowisko ewoluuje. Na stadiony przychodzą panowie, którzy od czterdziestu lat wciąż chodzą na mecze i im należy się ogromny szacunek. Innym – pasja przechodzi bo chuliganem nie jest się całe życie.
During the debate with the viewers, Cezary Grzesiuk told that the greatest obstacle in telling the story was creating a bond with the protagonists. – ‘Many times we had to run from tear gas and cry under some wall together with the football fans. That was when we were naturally gaining their trust. It was a process. I saw that their world had many angles, and that was when the protagonists have gradually started trusting us. They’ve realized that we had good intentions with the director of photography.’ When asked about the reason he decided to make the film, Cezary Grzesiuk gave a straight answer. – ‘I wouldn’t have thought that this will be a feature film. This film was simply out of reach, and yet it worked out! I was fascinated by how vivid this group is. I felt this is a huge subject. The film tells the story of how the club changes, and how this group evolves. Gentlemen who have been attending football
matches for the last 40 years still go to stadiums. They deserve respect. Other lose their passion, because you can’t be a hooligan all your life.
‘Blue Scallywags’ is screened at the Festival in the ‘Sport is health’ sections.