Angel City S01E01: Hymn to women’s football – La Lagarde
2 minute reading time
A three-part documentary series demonstrates that in the United States in particular, there is indeed a craze for professional women’s football.
Photo credits: Will Navarro / Angel City Football Club / HBO
In fact, actress Natalie Portman doesn’t really like sports, she laughs in the first episode of city of angels. Yet, as of 2020, she was heavily involved in the creation of the Los Angeles-based women’s soccer association. In previous years, Portman was saddened to see that female professional footballers had to settle for a tip in terms of earnings compared to their male colleagues. Broadcast rights did nothing, as did advertising and sponsorship revenue. The actress, accompanied by a group of women entrepreneurs (including investors Kara Nortman and Julie Uhrman) and celebrities (Serena Williams and Eva Longoria), decided to change this world from within.
Documentary maker Arlene Nelson follows closely how women try to find the right stadium, the right coach and the right staff. And then there are the best football players, whose salary, remarkably enough, consists of a percentage of the takings. This makes them jointly responsible for high or low turnout at matches. And Angel City has big ambitions: the club wants to attract 20,000 spectators per game. Sporting pundits are skeptical, but if you look at last season’s numbers, you’ll see they’ve almost reached that average. However, their other goal, to make the playoffs, was not achieved.
But the club is brand new and next season there will be new opportunities. Above all, Portman and her colleagues prove that there is a craze for professional women’s football. Movingly, a fan tells the camera that she had to travel all over the country with her boyfriend to see top-level women’s football (in the form of international matches). Now she can just buy a ticket to Los Angeles around the corner. This euphoria is city of angels in short: women who jointly implement a plan that benefits other women. As a viewer, you have to take it for granted that Nelson pours it all out in somewhat salty documentary form with plenty of boring interviews.
Angel City, starting Wednesday, May 17, 2023 on HBO Max
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