Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

Thematic This Sporting Life Curated by Steve James

Ninety minutes, seventeen cameras, one global icon—Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait is as hard to categorize as its enigmatic subject. Part experimental film, part subversive biography, part installation piece, and part sporting event, the film achieves what few have even attempted: to transport the viewer into the mythical zone that elite athletes at the top of their game inhabit. Time slows down, crowds disappear, your senses are heightened, and there you are on the field when Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid faces off against Villareal in a 2006 soccer match that comprises the entire film. With saturated colors, technical flourishes, and an exquisite sound design featuring Mogwai, directors Phillipe Parreno and Douglas Gordon reveal the many textures of what is purported to be merely a game and in so doing push the boundaries of the sports documentary.  TM


Philippe Parreno, Douglas Gordon


Sigurjon Sighvatsson, Anna Vaney, Victorien Vaney


Herve Schneid


Darius Khondji

Release Year


Festival Year




Run Time

90 minutes