We Are the Geordies, 2020.
Directed by James DeMarco and Zahra Zomorrodian.
A documentary charting the fortunes of Newcastle United and their unique set of fans during the 2016/17 EFL Championship season.
The fans at the heart of this lovingly made ode to Newcastle United Football Club won’t appreciate any comparisons with their bitter rivals Sunderland, but the current trend for documentaries charting the fortunes of football teams can be traced back to Netflix’s wonderful Sunderland ‘Til I Die series. Since then we’ve had big-budget efforts focusing on the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, both of which felt a bit too media-managed to really rummage down the back of the sofa in the corporate lounge.
We Are the Geordies clearly doesn’t have the access that those filmmakers were afforded, but it makes up for that with the collection of fans it chooses to follow, and the drama which plays out on the pitch during a season seemingly scripted by Hollywood.
Largely opting to sidestep the ongoing boardroom battles and potential takeovers which have plagued the club for years, the documentary instead focuses on the narrative of trying to guide the team to the top division in English football, and what that means to this set of come-rain-come shine fans.
So we’re introduced to Whistler and Scud and their bickering in the pub, Elaine, with her son who has written a thesis on the stupid rituals of football fans, Gorgeous George, Erik, Matt, Davy, Fordy and Sima, and fifty-thousand other faces who fill St. James Park each week.
And therein lies the coincidental mass appeal of the documentary. At a time when our stadiums are echo filled empty colosseums, an indelible reminder of the pandemic afflicted world outside the plastic painted seats and goodwill messages draped across the stands, to see the power and passion of a crowd is something which provides We Are the Geordies with an unexpected resonance, especially for the neutral fan.
It’s those without any affinity to Newcastle United who might struggle to connect with the doc. It is very Toon Army centric, at times chronicling the results like those end-of-season videos you could buy from the club shop, but it just about manages to transcend the black-and-white in order to help alleviate the current sporting blues.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★
Matt Rodgers – Follow me on Twitter