Hands up anyone who’s heard of the 1942 World Cup. Us neither. World War II scuppered FIFA’s plans and the tournament was officially cancelled. Yet according to this documentary there was indeed a World Cup, an unofficial affair that finished with a final between a team of Swastika-wearing Nazis and members of a Patagonian tribe called the Mapuche. Lorenzo Garzella and Filippo Macelloni’s documentary begins in Patagonia with the skeleton of an Argentinian cameraman being unearthed clutching a movie camera with a roll of film attached. That roll of film purportedly provides evidence of one of the biggest football mysteries of all time. Alarm bells should start ringing at that point. Is this for real? Well, actually, no. The unofficial 1942 World Cup final is a figment of the directors’ imaginations: a ‘what if’ scenario of bizarre and very well assembled proportions. The accompanying archive footage is remarkably authentic but there are subtle hints and clues that what you’re watching is really a spoof. And a cleverly mounted one at that.
Lorenzo Garzella, Filippo Macelloni