Written by Maria Manuella Pache de Athayde
LFG directed by Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine tells us the story of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) and their fight for equal pay. As someone who is deeply invested in football (or soccer as Americans call it) this was a must watch for me. I’d say that even for those that aren’t football aficionados there is something for you here. Chiefly the fight for pay parity among footballers.
The documentary starts with a warning. Outright it says that “the U.S. soccer federation declined to participate in any on-camera interviews for this film.” This quote sets the tone as we embark on a journey with the extraordinary women of the USWNT and their fight for equality on and off the pitch. Told in their own words the women of the USWNT are fearless and take matters into their own hands when they file a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States soccer federation, who pays more money to the men’s national team who have no significant victories in the sport.
This is a pretty standard documentary. There isn’t anything too fascinating to see with the exception of a few graphics that are used to demonstrate that players of the USWNT, at every single juncture, make less than money their male counterparts and have less access to resources even though they are multiple World Cup champions and Olympic Gold Medalists. Though I was not impressed with any of the stylistic elements I am/was in awe of the resilience displayed by these athletes. What these women want is simply to be paid fairly for doing the job they love. Personally I would go one step further and say they deserve to be paid more than the players of the USMNT. My personal mantra for these women is superior pay for superior play.
Ultimately, this doc ends up being much more than just a film about football. Instead, it is a rallying cry for women everywhere. The players of the USWNT have no quit in them (even after their lawsuit was dismissed by a judge), they have an undeniable fire that allows them to overcome whatever obstacle is thrown at them and any of the dirty tricks the US soccer federation tries to play. These women are going to inspire people for generations to come. Their fight is much bigger than what happens on the pitch and I love them for it.
LFG was screened as part of the Tribeca 2021 Film Festival thru Tribeca at Home(available only in the USA). LFG released digitally on June 24th via HBO Max.
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