Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

2006, Documentary, 1h 30m

20 Reviews 1,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Zidane, Un Portrait du 21E Siecle hits surprisingly few of the expected documentary beats, but the end result is still uniquely immersive. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A soccer match between Real Madrid and Villareal from the perspective of player Zinédine Zidane.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (7)

  • Quote not available.

    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • You learn little by way of hard facts about the adored French soccer star and famous head-butter Zinedine Zidane in the formalist exercise that bears his name.

    October 24, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • He's set apart not only as the piece's sole subject but because he's hyper-alert, continually responding to invisible forces, raptly focused on events beyond the frame.

    October 22, 2008 | Full Review…
  • An overblown nearly-real-time documentary-cum-"art installation."

    October 21, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Alternately hypnotic and irksome.

    May 4, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Zidane's charisma accumulates and the film becomes a hypnotic experience to which you must simply abandon yourself.

    October 28, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • You learn little by way of hard facts about the adored French soccer star and famous head-butter Zinedine Zidane in the formalist exercise that bears his name.

    October 24, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • He's set apart not only as the piece's sole subject but because he's hyper-alert, continually responding to invisible forces, raptly focused on events beyond the frame.

    October 22, 2008 | Full Review…
  • An overblown nearly-real-time documentary-cum-"art installation."

    October 21, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • As far as these filmmakers are concerned, Zidane, especially in the moments of tedium, is the modern day 'Outsider' in the true Camusian sense. As such this movie is more an analysis of the immigrant experience than of a footballer.

    November 3, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • If you believe soccer is indeed the beautiful game, then you're destined to fall hopelessly in love with what you see here.

    June 15, 2018 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

  • Feb 10, 2011
    Oh my god, I hate this movie so much. It fails on every possible level. It's not an engaging portrait of a soccer player. It's not the chronicle of a fascinating sport. It's not even good cover of a soccer game. This is footage of a guy running around or, when he's not, shouting or, when he's not, milling around. From 17 angles, no less. Why this is called a "21st century portrait", I'll never know. If it's meant to show us the real Zidane, why make a point of silencing his voice? If we're meant to see a master on the field, why not pick a game where he has more to do? This movie seems to be very securely anchored in time, but why then not cover THE GAME itself as best you can? In which case, focus those damned cameras on the freaking BALL. You want to emphasize a human star in this game? Then why not shoot every player equally and make your film out of the man who's the most active? What the filmmakers have successfully made here is a huge, long and rich film where nothing frickin' happens. Nothing happens in close up, and then nothing happen in wide shots, then nothing happens on video, then nothing happens in HD. Then something ALMOST happens, then something happens offscreen, when nothing happens on crummy, eye-bleed video. This is such a big pile of nothing.
    Emily A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2009
    Beautifully shot and the soundrack is also immense!
    Nyk P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 17, 2008
    This is an experiment. Filming Zinedine Zidane during a regular football match during his time with Real Madrid, with 17 cameras, watching each and every of his moves and sometimes showing quotes by the man. That's probably a feast for his fans and followers, but hardly watchable even for regular football fans. The first 20 minutes nothing happens, whatsoever, and the rest of the game isn't exactly a classic either. Zidane walks around a lot, sometimes shows glimpses of his amazing talent. Once Mogwais fantastic soundtrack comes into play and Zidane gets more and more agitated about the game, things do get more interesting. Ironically the movie ends with him being sent off with a red card. For Fans only. But maybe I did it injustice when I started chatting while watching this after 20 minutes.
    Jens S Super Reviewer

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