A group of Mexican film directors is shooting a documentary on the Croatian bronze-winning national football team, aimed at showing that a passion for football can be important in the creation of national identity.
The film, an independent production, is about Croatia's independence from the former Yugoslavia, its historical and social context, and features the footballers who won the bronze at the 1998 World Championship in France, including Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki and Darijo Simic as well as coach Miroslav Blazevic.
"This is the story of how one conflict on the football field detonated Croatia's war of independence and of how, a few years later, the third place in the World Championship was won," director Edson Ramirez said in Mexico City last week.
"We wish to show how a small country, wounded by war, found in the suffering of its people the necessary motivation to try and win a big international competition," he said.
The Mexicans have already filmed some footage in Croatia and plan to return for three or four more weeks of shooting.
"Aside from interviews, we plan to collect footage from other parts of the country which still show traces of war, first and foremost Vukovar. This is a film about a people's need for its own identity and the struggle to achieve it. This is also a film about a sport whose stadium served as the first scenario in a war with big consequences which led to the disintegration of the former state," said Ramirez.