‘This Is Not a Ball’ is Brazilian artist Vik Muniz’s directorial debut. It chronicles the creation of his massive new artwork tied to the 2014 World Cup.
In the lead-up to the event, the artist has created a pair of massive art installations using 20,000 carefully arranged footballs.
The documentary follows Muniz as he explores the global passion for football from every possible angle from the professional to the scientific.
“Somebody was asking me, is this a movie about balls? No, it is a movie about curiosity and how it manifests itself and sometimes it’s just connected in erratic ways,” says the artist.
The movie also explores sport as a vehicle for social change, examining the role of football fan clubs in Egypt’s revolution and the massive street protests that swept Brazil during last year’s World Cup dry-run, the Confederations Cup.
“People will take advantage of the limelight that the World Cup will provide and will come to the streets and they will manifest – pacifically or violently, I don’t know, but within these protests there will be the sad voice that they (the protestors) are going against something inside themselves that is so dear, important to them. There’s also such a subject of pride – which is football – something that normally unites Brazilians and has united them against a government that’s not doing its job, it’s sad,” says Muniz.
While some have described the film as "amiable if hopelessly scattered", others view it essentially as "a promotion for Muniz and his ambitious new artwork".
‘This Is Not a Ball’ premieres on Brazilian, Latin American and US Netflix on June 13, a day after the World Cup kicks off in Sao Paulo.