Tuesday November 1st, 2005

National Team Without Nation


In the Middle East there is a small ethnic group without a country, a Christian minority who speak an archaic language. After centuries of persecution, people have found a safe sanctuary, a place called Södertälje. Here the success story was born of the football team who during thirty years moved from the lowest to the highest division.

– Football is what keeps this community together, says coach Mellek Bisso. Södertalje is a capital of the Assyrians and Syriacs worldwide.

Assyrian – the national team without a land is documentary in five parts that follow the team during the season in the Allsvenskan, both on and off the field. But the Assyrian is more than a football club and the struggle to keep the place in the Olympics is also about the struggle for minority rights in the Middle East. Assyrian is the club where world politics and diplomacy are part of everyday life. We meet the team’s supporters, monks in remote mountain monasteries in Turkey, militiamen in Iraq and Södertälje.

The Documentary serie won the award guldpalmen for best film of all categories, at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Director: Erik Sandberg and Nuri Kino,

Producer: Erik Sandberg, Oscar Hedin and Nuri Kino

Read more and see the program on SVT’s website.