How a 4-Day Journalism Assignment Became an Explosive Yearlong Doc Production by No Film School published on 2017-09-11T07:00:49Z When Israeli journalist Maya Zinshtein took on a four-day assignment to cover the arrival of two foreign players to a local soccer club, she had no idea that it would turn into a year-long making of a feature documentary that dramatically reveals the skeletons in her own country’s closet. But this was no ordinary soccer team—and this is certainly not your average sports documentary. The team at the center of the film is Beitar Jerusalem, which had been historically known for the right wing politics and even racist tendencies of its fan base. In fact, It was the only team in Israel’s premier league never to sign an Arab player. When two Muslim players from Chechnya were brought onto the team, the resulting backlash exposed the ugliest parts of Israeli society, and threatened to tear the team and country apart. Rarely does a documentary—especially about something as apparently innocuous as soccer—expose so many layers of one society, from race to class to politics to economics. But it didn’t come without Zinshtein’s own battles. In her conversation with No Film School's Liz Nord, she is very candid about how she overcame the challenges she faced making the film, especially in trying to convince people to let her turn vérité cameras on them in the midst of personal and national crises.