The Last Resort

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Gary Monroe

Dennis Scholl

Kareem Tabsch

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‘The Last Resort’ Review: A Photographer’s Paradise Lost

the last resort documentary

By Glenn Kenny

  • Dec. 20, 2018

This movie, directed by Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch, takes a little while to find its footing. It’s a strategic mistake to begin a documentary about photography with an interviewee observing, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

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But the dual subject matter of “The Last Resort” is strong enough to withstand this. The cultural transformation and re-transformation of Miami Beach (specifically its southern tip, South Beach) is a story that’s fascinating, poignant, garish and, in some ways, befuddling. From a near-frontier in the 1910s, it became a counter-counterculture showbiz enclave in the ’60s. This led to a population influx of mostly Jewish retirees, which made the place, for a time, a borscht belt below the Mason-Dixon line.

The photographer Andy Sweet told a part of this story in the ’70s. He shot casually composed candid stills, in saturated color, of older South Beach residents, many of them Holocaust survivors, enjoying a kind of paradise regained, replete with palm trees and balmy weather.

Sweet’s photography partner, Gary Monroe, who works in black and white, tells of how they conceived a 10-year project to document their hometown. The filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and the reporter-turned-crime-novelist Edna Buchanan add context. Sweet’s sister, Ellen Sweet Moss; Monroe; and others relate stories of the drug and crime scene that engulfed Miami Beach in the mid-1970s, connecting it to Sweet’s violent murder in 1982. The disappearance of his archive adds a note of narrative intrigue that gets a satisfying denouement.

Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes.

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‘The Last Resort’ Review: Miami’s Post-WWII Jewish Population Shines in Spirited Documentary

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If any of the subjects of Andy Sweet’s colorful photographs were alive today, they might wonder: “Whatever happened to that nice boy? He was such a mensch.” They would certainly be saddened to learn of his grisly death, but heartened to see his remarkable work recognized in Kareem Tabsch and Dennis Scholl’s delightful love letter to Miami’s South Beach, the charming new documentary “ The Last Resort .”

Using Sweet’s vibrant photography as a framing device and visual palette, this charming documentary — like Miami itself — has a little bit of everything: Old Jews, Art Deco architecture, serious beach style, rival artists, and a dash of queerness for good measure. Just don’t expect funny one-liners from nonagenarian caricatures; “The Last Resort” is more photographic history lesson than comic character study. The film benefits from plenty of truth-is-stranger-than-fiction twists, and the result is a patchwork storytelling technique that leaves the film lacking a singular focus. While that may have been the best way to present a surplus of great material, it makes the movie difficult to summarize in a single logline.

In 1977, two young friends embarked on what became the Miami Beach Project, vowing to photograph Miami Beach’s Jewish retirees every day for ten years. Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe had vastly different styles; Sweet eschewed formalist composition techniques for a more improvisational, spontaneous framing, while Monroe’s black-and-white compositions are far more somber but equally arresting. Long before the term “street photography” was ushered into ubiquity by a fashion-hungry internet, Sweet was snapping his shutter with wild abandon, finding humanity in the split-seconds and spaces in between.

Andy Sweet Miami photographer

The Miami Beach Project was an attempt to capture the last days of a dying breed, the Jewish retirees who settled South Beach in the wake of WWII. What began in the 1950s as a winter vacation spot for Holocaust survivors to relax in the sunshine eventually became a vibrant retirement community throughout the 1970s and early ’80s. Using Sweet’s exceptional illustrations, “The Last Resort” invites viewers to imagine a Miami Beach as bustling as it is today, replacing scantily-clad youth with, well, scantily-clad senior citizens.

In talking head interviews, Monroe provides insight into Sweet’s artistic philosophy and unique (certainly at the time) playful spontaneity. A Miami native and admirer of Sweet’s work, “Certain Women” filmmaker Kelly Reichardt helps place him in the context of his would-be contemporaries. Halfway through the Miami Beach Project in 1982, Sweet died tragically, murdered in a botched drug deal at the age of 28. The gruesome nature of his death and subsequent trial caused a media frenzy that captivated the city and eclipsed his work, which had only recently started gaining attention.

the last resort documentary

As told by his sister, Ellen Sweet Moss, the family was too heartbroken to look at his photographs, and packed away Sweet’s archives. In an attempt to preserve his friend’s legacy, Monroe inquired about the prints too soon after the tragedy, resulting in a decades-long feud with the Sweet family. When the negatives were lost, only fading prints remained of his legacy. In 2006, Moss and her partner, Stan Hughes, discovered a lost trove of color “work prints” while cleaning out an old family storage unit. Using the small contact sheet as a guide, Hughes, a graphic designer and digital artist, was able to restore Sweet’s photographs to his originally-intended colors for the first time.

Sweet’s work is a time capsule of a bygone era, preserved in glorious, saturated technicolor. He was the master of the unexpected composition, and in that sense, “The Last Resort” is a fitting tribute. Tabsch and Scholl assemble the fragments of his far-reaching story as best they can, but run into trouble when skirting the delicate line between glorifying Miami’s Jewish past without bemoaning its Cuban present. By the end of the 1980s, the Mahjong clubs and porch sitters were replaced by drug dealers and violent crime. A throwaway explanation about Fidel Castro emptying Cuba’s jails onto Miami Beach comes off as overly simplistic scapegoating.

The shifting demographics of neighborhoods is a far more fraught topic today than it was in Sweet’s time, and it’s tricky to romanticize the disappearance of one group without implicitly blaming whatever replaced it. Nostalgia, like a wide-eyed young photographer, has its own visual tricks; it casts a warm glow on whatever it touches. One thing is for certain, we could all stand to see the world the way Andy Sweet did.

“The Last Resort” is currently playing in select theaters. 

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They were looking for the ultimate getaway, they planned for the perfect paradise vacation; what they’re about to get is a trip no one is prepared for. When a group of five girlfriends heads for the tropics, they relax, hit the beach and step out for a night of partying. All is fun and games, until someone gets hurt. Robbed by their tour guide and left for dead, the girls take shelter in a deserted Mexican resort that is haunted by the unspeakable atrocities of past.

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‘the last resort’ documentary captures changing era in miami beach, by michelle f. solomon february 20, 2019.

The Last Resort Poster

Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch didn’t set out to create what became “ The Last Resort, ” a feature-length documentary that captures the 1970s and early ’80s in Miami Beach.

It was meant to be a short film told through the lenses of two Miami Beach photographers and their decade-long project of chronicling the lives of Jewish retirees.

“Developing a documentary is much different than making a feature narrative,” Scholl says. “A feature is like building a new house: You get a set of plans, and it finishes just like the drawing. But when you make a documentary, it’s like working on an old house. There are issues and surprises behind the walls, and that’s what happened here.”

The two Miami filmmakers mirrored the photographers, Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe, in their devotion to creating a project together.

“Kareem and I were friends for a long time,” Scholl says. “We would have frequent conversations about making a movie together. Finally, we sat down and, really, if we had written the subject matter we wanted to explore individually, and then matched the pieces together, they would have been identical.”

“The Last Resort,” which won the Audience Award at the 2018 Miami Jewish Film Festival, opens Friday, Feb. 15, at Coral Gables Art Cinema and O Cinema Miami Beach. Screenings run through Feb. 21.

The Last Resort is currently screening at O Cinema Miami Beach, Living Room Theaters in Boca Raton, Movies of Delray and Movies of Lake Worth. It will open Feb. 22 at The Classic Gateway Theater in Fort Lauderdale, The Last Picture Show in Tamarac, and Lake Worth Playhouse, followed by Miami Beach Cinematheque on March 1.

Sweet and Monroe grew up in Miami Beach, then left to get graduate degrees at the University of Boulder in Colorado. They returned to their hometown in their early 20s in 1977, and discovered a city that was full of characters. “Instead of everybody being between 18 and 28, think 81 and 82,” Monroe says of what is now South Beach in the film.

Scholl and Tabsch began looking through Sweet and Monroe’s photographs, interviewing people about their subjects and watching historical footage. They realized another story was coming to life, but it wasn’t just about the photographers. This story involved parallels between the lives of Sweet and Monroe and a city that was evolving, for better and for worse.

“We knew we needed to take the story to the next level by looking at what happened. And what happened was Miami changed in a really profound way,” Scholl says.

They made sure, however, that they didn’t give short shrift to the importance of introducing audiences to the immensely talented photographers, especially their very different styles. Sweet’s photos were color-saturated snapshots, while Monroe’s black-and-white work were more composed.

“They were kids in their 20s who started out with great intentions to do what they called the Miami Beach Photographic Project,” Scholl says.

But as the film reveals, the project started to crumble, as did the tight-knit Jewish community. The smiling and happy, suntanned subjects of Sweet’s and Monroe’s work began to disappear from photographs taken during the paradise-lost era of Miami in the 1980s, when the area was consumed by the effects of the Mariel Boatlift, the McDuffie riots and the illegal cocaine trade.

Sweet died in 1982, the apparent victim of a drug-related homicide. In the film, Monroe says he learned after the murder that Sweet may have been selling cocaine. Adding to the heartbreak, Sweet’s sister reveals that after her brother’s death, the family moved his photographs to a storage facility and later lost them.

The stories of the photographers and of the changing face of the city is also told through interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami crime reporter Edna Buchanan, Books and Books founder Mitchell Kaplan, Miami-born filmmaker Kelly Reichardt, Jewish Museum of Florida executive director Susan Gladstone, and Monroe.

“People like Edna and Kelly began to talk to us, and they had textural, thoughtful things to say about that moment in Miami when it all came together,” Scholl says, “so much more than talking about the two photographers who took beautiful pictures.”

Tabsch, a co-founder of Miami’s art-house movie theater O Cinema, says Buchanan was on the top of the filmmakers’ interview wish list from the “get go.”

“When you are making a film about the past, you need people in the present to talk about it,” he says. She was it. She saw firsthand the community at its peak, and she covered it at its most drastic changes in the 1980s. Hers is a firsthand, eyewitness account.”

Scholl, who has lived in Miami since 1963, is an art collector, philanthropist, entrepreneur, former vice president for arts at the Knight Foundation and CEO of ArtCenter/South Florida. His documentaries are sharply focused on arts and culture. “You can very well tell a story of an era or eras through art and its artists,” he says. “ ‘The Last Resort’ is certainly one of those examples.”

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The Last Resort

The Last Resort

Poster for The Last Resort

  • Documentary

NZ made documentary investigating issues over land and business ownership. From the closure of a 60 year-old campground and subsequent beachfront occupation by tangata whenua at Opoutama, Mahia - to the debates raging over the Overseas Investment Bill in Parliament - 'The Last Resort' investigates notions of land and business ownership, signaling the changing tides of sovereignty and self-determination in Aotearoa.

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The Last Resort | Ratings & Reviews

"A hell of an achievement: A subtle but fiercely angry film that refuses to simplify its themes for mass-media consumption (or television sales)..."

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"The classic kiwi holiday - camping by the beach - is under threat. It's not so much Paradise lost, as Paradise sold... the issues covered in The Last Resort should be of concern to all New Zealanders..."

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What if California seceded from the United States? If it did, what would happen? Would it usher in a new era of peace and prosperity? Or plunge the US into a new civil war? This is The Last Resort, a new documentary podcast following the rise, fall, and rebirth of CAL EXIT: the campaign for Californian Independence. It’s a story about a dream for a new progressive utopia on the West Coast. It’s about the fight for America’s future. And it’s also a tale of two friends who started on the political fringe and ended up in the middle of a still-unfolding global criminal conspiracy involving the FBI and Russian Intelligence. Coming October 18th from Interval Presents and Awfully Nice. Narrated by Xiuhtezcatl.

The Last Resort Interval Presents

  • Society & Culture
  • 3.6 • 201 Ratings
  • OCT 18, 2022

1 | The Tipping Point

Could California really secede from the United States? A group of activists believe it’s not just possible – it’s inevitable. They call their movement CAL EXIT. Sources: The Washington Post PBS NewsHour The New Yorker ABC7 News @sophiabollag on Twitter CGTN America KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco ABC7 News @Phil_Lewis_ on Twitter Pigeons & Planes BBC Music NewsNation BRUT Bloomberg The Washington Post News 5 Cleveland Newsweek Associated Press Real Time with Bill Maher Jesse Dollemore on YouTube MSNBC CrowderBits The Daily Wire Fox News Netflix Earth Guardians Skavlan United Nations Fox News See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2 | The Ballad of Marcus & Louis

Meet your new Founding Fathers: Marcus Ruiz-Evans & Louis Marinelli. Who are they? And how did they take CAL EXIT from the political fringe to the national news?Sources: The Seasteading Institute @SophiaBollag on Twitter KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco Fox News PBS SoCal Kayla Moon on YouTube Yes California Calexit Campaign Donald J Trump on YouTube Good Morning Britain CGTN America truth videos on YouTube Fox News Fox News Fox News See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • OCT 25, 2022

3 | After The Gold Rush

California has always attracted dreamers. But the California dream had a dark side. From this complicated history, Marcus & Louis saw an opportunity to grow their movement. Sources: OHS Film and Video Archives CBS News Fox News See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • NOV 1, 2022

4 | The Great State of Jefferson

California is perceived as a liberal state but the truth is a lot more complicated. No place better epitomizes that truth than Shasta County, where far-right activists are plotting a government takeover.Sources: Doni Chamberlain / anewscafe.com Associated Press TMZ Action News Now CNN Indisputable with Dr. Rashad Richey MMFA | InfoWars truth videos See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • NOV 8, 2022

5 | The Land of Flowing Water

Marcus & Louis file to get CAL EXIT on the ballot. But for CAL EXIT to happen, other states would have to agree. One big reason why they might? Water. Sources: FOX Weather PBS (Cadillac Desert: Water and the Transformation of Nature) BBC News CBS News The Sacramento Bee ABC 30 News Paramount Pictures (Chinatown) travelfilmarchive ABC News NBC News The Next News Network Slavic Sacramento MSNBC See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • NOV 15, 2022

6 | Civil War

Shocking revelations about Louis threaten to derail the CAL EXIT movement. Can it survive the civil war within its ranks?Sources: CNBC CNN The Guardian PBS NewsHour @samadams593 on TikTok @sheepdogs17762.0 on TikTok The Next News Network MSBNC ABC 7 News MSNBC CSPAN Reddebrek on YouTube See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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201 Ratings

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I liked this presenter, who offers a barely-polished and authentic view of California and includes a group we don’t often hear from (in English at least), native Mexicans.

Secede from fed gov bailouts?

What exactly would cali seceding accomplish, it’s all grand standing. For the longest the common sense US was hoping Cali would slide into the sea (or be gone).

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Last Resort

2023, Action, 1h 47m

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Last resort videos, last resort   photos.

A former special forces soldier becomes a one-man army when his wife and daughter are taken hostage during a bank robbery. As he neutralizes the gang of thieves, the lives of millions hang in the balance when a lethal toxin is stolen from the vault.

Rating: R (Bloody Violence|Language Throughout)

Genre: Action

Original Language: English

Director: Jean-Marc Minéo

Producer: François Enginger , Francesco Di Silvio , François Enginger , Elisabeth Wassmer

Writer: Jean-Marc Minéo

Release Date (Theaters): Jan 6, 2023  limited

Runtime: 1h 47m

Distributor: Saban Films

Production Co: Eloïse Films, E1 Entertainment

Cast & Crew

Jonathan Patrick Foo

Clayton Norcross

David Ismalone

Julaluck Ismalone

Angelina Ismalone

Chalad Na Songkhla

Mercenary Leader

Armin Parvin

Jean-Marc Minéo

Screenwriter

François Enginger

Francesco Di Silvio

Elisabeth Wassmer

Lewis-Martin Soucy

Cinematographer

Arnuparp Anuwongsang

Film Editor

Patrick Matteodo

Original Music

Jean-Jacques Ipino

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the last resort documentary

Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort

WELCOME TO KUTSHER'S: THE LAST CATSKILLS RESORT

is available on DVD, Digital & Broadcast TV!

For details & to order the film click the BUY button below...

the last resort documentary

A documentary by Caroline Laskow & Ian Rosenberg Kutsher's Country Club was the last surviving Jewish resort in the Catskills.  One of the legendary Borscht Belt hotels during its heyday, Kutsher's was family-owned and operated for over 100 years.  Exploring the full Dirty Dancing -era Catskills experience through a close up look at Kutsher's rise and fall, this award-winning documentary captures a last glimpse of a lost world as it disappears before our eyes.    The Catskills resorts were not only a Jewish refuge and family vacation paradise, they also gave birth to American stand-up comedy, an NBA All-Star tradition, and all-inclusive resorts.  This film brings to life how Kutsher’s thrived at the center of all this growth and excitement.  Watch Wilt Chamberlain both playing ball and working as a bellhop at Kutsher’s; Red Auerbach as the Kutsher’s Sports Director; and Kutsher’s Maurice Stokes benefit game create an All-Star basketball tradition.  Laugh with appreciation at Freddie Roman as his classic Borscht Belt routine still brings down the house, and wonder in amazement as Andy Kaufman wrestles a female Kutsher’s guest for $50.  Marvel at the abundance of hearty kosher feasts where no one can get away with ordering just one main dish, and the non-stop whirl of recreational activities.

And as the Catskills decline, this film provides unprecedented eye-witness documentation of Kutsher's from its 100th anniversary season through the next seven years until the hotel is sold and demolished in 2014. The story of Kutsher’s is uniquely American, unexpectedly moving and a vital chapter – previously unexplored – of the modern Jewish experience.

About the Film: Directed and Produced by Caroline Laskow & Ian Rosenberg Edited and Original Music by D.S. Fuller

Distributed by Menemsha Films Running Time:  72 Minutes

Film Festival Honors:  New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center - Closing Night Selection

WINNER! BEST DOCUMENTARY Audience Award at Miami Jewish Film Festival

Theatrical Release : New York, California and Florida in 2015

Broadcast : PBS Stations WMHT (NY), WPBT2 (FL) in 2016

DVD & Digital Release : on Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay & more .

"Elegiac" -  The New York Times

"Extraordinary" -  The Jewish Voice  

"Amazing. Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever. Do not miss this film."

- The Algemeiner

"Lovingly lays out the history of the Borscht Belt vacation with a grand smorgasbord of history, photos and film footage, and an appropriate dollop of nostalgic schmaltz." 

- The Jewish Daily Forward

"The joy of  Welcome to Kutsher’s  is that it captures what was unique and special about the hotel while also expounding on the larger significance of the Catskills in the American Jewish consciousness."

"Sheds new light on a vibrant chapter of the American Jewish experience." - JNS

"If you remember the Catskills of old, or want to see what it was all about, then check in to Welcome to Kutsher's .  This is the real deal!" - The Jewish Advocate

"This evocative... welcome documentary preserves a vital piece of Jewish American history." - ALA Booklist

+ Read more great press (from ABC News, The Wall Street Journal , NPR and more) here .

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90 Day: The Last Resort

90 Day: The Last Resort (2023)

In a final attempt to salvage their relationships, previous couples from the 90 Day Fiancé universe will participate in a couples retreat to determine whether or not they can heal old wounds... Read all In a final attempt to salvage their relationships, previous couples from the 90 Day Fiancé universe will participate in a couples retreat to determine whether or not they can heal old wounds. In a final attempt to salvage their relationships, previous couples from the 90 Day Fiancé universe will participate in a couples retreat to determine whether or not they can heal old wounds.

  • Angela Deem
  • 7 User reviews

Episodes 12

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10 Biggest Details Next Goal Wins Leaves Out About The Samoan Soccer Team's Story

  • Next Goal Wins takes several liberties with the true story.
  • Waititi's movie differs significantly from the original documentary – inventing characters and changing personalities.
  • The film also leaves out key details that transform the impact of the story.

Despite following the award-winning original documentary, Taika Waititi's Next Goal Wins actually makes some fairly major changes to the true story of the American Samoa national football team. Waititi himself has admitted that simply retelling the existing documentary wouldn't have been suitably entertaining – " I had to twist the truth... Otherwise, watch the documentary ," he told an audience at the Toronto International Film Festival (via History vs Hollywood ). However, while some of these tweaks fall under artistic license, the result is that Next Goal Wins doesn't tell the full story .

Like the documentary, Next Goal Wins focuses on the efforts of Dutch coach Thomas Rongen to turn American Samoa into a competitive soccer team ahead of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in South Africa . Historically, the nation has consistently been ranked as one of the weakest teams in the world, suffering loss after humiliating loss – including a 31-0 hammering by Australia. While the movie faithfully recreates some aspects of the true story, it also leaves out some important details. As the documentary proves, their inclusion makes a big difference to Next Goal Wins ' message.

Next Goal Wins Review: Waititis Sports Dramedy Has Little Character Development

American samoa aren't quite as bad as the movie suggests, they had some small successes..

As Next Goal Wins correctly points out, American Samoa has never been a football powerhouse. However, while the real team's results are nothing to be proud of, the movie's claims about the extent of their terribleness are slightly exaggerated. For instance, Oliver Kightley's Tavita claims, prior to Rongen's arrival, that " We haven't scored one goal in the history of our country trying to have a soccer team. "

This claim, while funny, isn't actually true. Not only had American Samoa scored two goals in the decade preceding Rongen's arrival, but they had actually won their second-ever competitive match against Wallis and Fortuna in 1983 3-0 . This makes the team's triumph over Tonga their second win of all time, as opposed to their first.

Thomas Rongen Wasn't Fired For His Temper

It was actually for something worse.

The movie claims that Rongen had " been fired from his last three jobs because he can't control himself. " This, however, was not the case. The real reason Rongen was fired from the United States Under-20 setup was that the team failed to qualify for the World Cup for that age group – something the country did consistently prior to his appointment (via History vs Hollywood ). In fact, a 2023 Washington Post article praised his friendly personality and good nature – a far cry from Michael Fassbender's curmudgeonly performance in Next Goal Wins .

Rongen Didn't Join American Samoa As A Last Resort

It wasn't an ultimatum from the u.s..

An early scene in Taika Waititi's Next Goal Wins suggests that Rongen was faced with a binary choice – unemployment or American Samoa. The reality – at least, according to Rongen himself – is that he saw it as an exciting challenge rather than a last resort . In a 2014 interview with HeyUGuys , Rongen declared:

"I think at any stage of a coach's career, but especially the latter stages of your career, you look at new challenges, new opportunities. As a Dutchman...we love to travel, we speak all languages, we embrace new cultures. So, when I looked at this tiny island, American Samoa, in a region I've never been to, from a personal standpoint I was attracted to that. From a professional standpoint, being able to manage a team through World Cup qualifying is something special as well."

This suggests that, even though he was the only applicant for the position, the real Thomas Rongen was genuinely excited by the opportunity.

Nicole Megaloudis Didn't Die Just Before Rongen Joined American Samoa

His life was affected by personal tragedy..

In order to maximize dramatic effect, Next Goal Wins makes several changes to the real timeline. One alteration concerns the tragic passing of Nicole Megaloudis. The movie suggests that Rongen's stepdaughter died just before he joined American Samoa, contributing to his turbulent state of mind. In truth, Megaloudis died several years before the events of the movie – although Rongen did continue to wear her school cap as shown on screen.

Rongen Wasn't Estranged From His Wife, Gail

The couple are still married today..

In the fictionalized Next Goal Wins , a romantic subplot involving Rongen's estranged wife, Gail (played by Elizabeth Moss) , and an obnoxious soccer executive simmers in the background. This entire storyline, however, was made up for the film. In reality, the real Rongen and Gail are still married to this day . Rongen has also stated in interviews (via History vs Hollywood ) that Gail came with him to American Samoa and even befriended several of the players.

Rongen Didn't Really Have A Drinking Problem

It was invented for the movie..

Next Goal Wins depicts Rongen as a somewhat cynical figure who is restored by his experiences with this team. While the real Rongen was undoubtedly shaped by his time as coach, many aspects of his character were made up for dramatic effect, including his supposed problems with alcoho l. This addition is an example of Waititi embellishing key details to create a more compelling narrative arc – something he confirmed in an interview with The Washington Post . As he told the paper, " Who wants to watch a movie where everyone's nice and there's no conflict? "

Taika Waititi's Character Was Made Up For The Movie

He's not the only fictional character..

As a comedic side character, Taika Waititi's on-screen role in Next Goal Wins is very minimal. However, although his performance as a priest has little bearing on the plot, it's important to note that no such character existed in the real Next Goal Wins story. Alongside the likes of Will Arnett's fictitious Alex Magnussen and Rhys Darby's Rhys Marlin, Waititi's character is a further example of Next Goal Wins taking liberties with the truth .

Jaiyah Saelua And Rongen Never Clashed Over Identity

It's a controversial change.

A key conflict in the generally feel-good Next Goal Wins is Rongen's initial reluctance to accept Jaiyah Saelua's fa'afafine transgender identity – though he does eventually come round. The truth, however, was that Rongen was immediately accepting of Saelua's identity from the start . According to History vs Hollywood :

"The real-life Coach Rongen...was entirely tolerant and accepting of Jaiyah from the very beginning, which is evident in both the documentary and interviews with Rongen... "For example, Coach Rongen never called Jaiyah by an unpreferred name. In fact, in real life, Rongen took it upon himself to immediately ask Jaiyah whether he should use Johnny or Jaiyah, something that impressed the other players."

Given how this arc reflects on Rongen's character, the Next Goal Wins change is somewhat controversial.

The Movie Completely Misses Out The Documentary

It might have made things complicated..

The biggest change that Waititi's Next Goal Wins makes to the true story of the American Samoa 2014 World Cup campaign is that it ignores the presence of a documentary crew throughout. In real life, the journey was cataloged by the filmmakers, who allowed individuals to share their personal stories as the team came together . Arguably, this helped bond a better team spirit. However, the documentary's existence is understandably ignored in Next Goal Wins in order to avoid straying into genre-bending meta territory.

Sources: Hollywood vs History , The Washington Post , HeyUGuys

Next Goal Wins

Director Taika Waititi

Release Date November 17, 2023

Cast Kaimana, Oscar Kightley, David Fane, Uli Latukefu, Michael Fassbender, Beulah Koale, Rachel House

Rating PG-13

Runtime 97 Minutes

Genres Drama, Comedy, Sports

10 Biggest Details Next Goal Wins Leaves Out About The Samoan Soccer Team's Story

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