Among the films that were screened at the Panorama of the European Film, which concluded last week, was the documentary Becoming Zlatan.
The subject of the documentary is Zlatan Ibrahimović, one of the most talented footballers of our time.
The documentary tracks Ibrahimović’s journey in the world of sports, starting with the Swedish club Malmö FF (1999-2001); passing through his dramatic and often disruptive journey in the Dutch club Ajax (2001-2004); and on to his real breakthrough with the Italian club Juventus (2004-2006).
The film was directed by Fredrik Gertten and his brother Magnus Gertten.
At the film screening, Swedish ambassador to Egypt Charlotta Sparre and director Magnus Gertten were present.
Daily News Egypt conducted an exclusive interview with Magnus Gertten while he was in Cairo.
Can you briefly tell us about yourself?
I am a documentary filmmaker, which means that I am addicted to storytelling. I look for stories that have a deep meaning in our lives.
I am a person who is interested in society and have been doing documentaries about social issues, refugees and migration. I have also been doing music documentaries. In other words, my films reflect my interests in life.
Why did you decide to make a documentary about Ibrahimović?
One of my interests is watching football. One of the first big documentary products I did was about my favourite football team, my hometown team: Malmö FF.
My brother and I happened to be there when this young player Ibrahimović came into the changing room. We were there when he started to play with the club in the late 1990s, so we decided to start a documentary about Ibrahimović.
So you started the documentary before Ibrahimović became famous. What made you choose Ibrahimović to be the protagonist of a documentary, before he became famous?
When he came in we saw that he was something different. We noticed that he had strong personality, charisma, a different way of playing which was very individualistic. So we decided to follow him and see what happens. My brother and I did his first media interview with him, ever.
Then we followed him for two years and we were very lucky because he did become famous.
Which aspect did you focus on in the film?
Ibrahimović struggled to become who he is now, it was not an easy journey. In the film you can see that despite being individualistic, even Ibrahimović needs some people who trust him and believes in him. Even if you are talented, to achieve success you will face difficulties and setbacks.
In film terms, we call this documentary an age-film, as it shows the journey of Ibrahimović growing from a boy into a man.
The film is about this young man trying to make it in this complicated world; a human portrait of this young man’s life with all its hardships.
How did you come to screen the film in Cairo?
The documentary has been screened all over the world. We were asked by the people at the Panorama of the European Film, who are doing an important job when it comes to bringing good documentaries to Cairo. They wanted to screen this film here as Ibrahimović is a big name in Egypt.