Film Reviews

‘Fly: Journey to Frankfurt’ Review

A good documentary has an interesting story, engaging visuals, and entertaining interviews – Fly: Journey to Frankfurt has it all, not to mention buckets of emotional impact.  

It’s not a film you’re likely to have heard of, and it’s not up for any Oscars. But this independently-made documentary is still worth watching, especially since there’s so much extra content available alongside the online download.

It’s clear this film has been a labour of love for all those involved. From the hours of material filmed over the course of a year, to the beautifully composed soundtrack, you might be forgiven for not realising this is a documentary funded entirely via an Indiegogo campaign. For a first feature-length production, creators Jennie Grimes and Caroline Taylor have done exceptionally well.

The documentary follows Team UK’s journey from the beginnings of their training around the country, to their extraordinary accomplishments at the World Cup in Frankfurt over the summer. It’s an exciting storyline, and builds in intensity and emotion as Team UK gets ever closer to achieving their dreams. It’s a brilliant film, especially for those who love and play the sport, but even those who don’t have something to gain from watching it.

The sport is Quidditch. Yes, it originated in Harry Potter, but for over ten years now it has been a real sport: full-contact, mixed-gender, and played internationally with real passion, as is clear in this documentary. You don’t have to like Harry Potter to play, and nor should you dismiss the sport as something just for geeks – the players are athletes.

Full disclosure: I play Quidditch, and know several people involved in this production. Objectively speaking, it is excellent, but from the position of someone who was there in Frankfurt for the World Cup, who saw Team UK’s hard work and passion for the game in person, I can say it’s a brilliant representation of the journey. The film truly captures heightened emotions of the World Cup, and I relived the excitement of it all watching this documentary. If you still think Quidditch isn’t a real sport, the roar of the crowds and the huge number of people and countries represented, as well as the physicality of the athletes, should be enough to convince you of its popularity and active nature.

Verdict: Fly: Journey to Frankfurt is an engaging documentary starring the British players of one of the fastest growing and most progressive sports of our time, and will be enjoyable to players and non-players of Quidditch alike. If you want to learn more about the sport, see what it’s really like at the top level, or see the cohesion of this wonderful community in action, this is the film to show you.

Fly: Journey to Frankfurt is available via online download at until 31st January 2017.

Isobel Sheene

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Featured image: John Loo via Flickr.

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