It´s a wrap: last film shoot in Villa 31 (Retiro Shantytown)

Girls in Villa 31 break during a game to pose for the camera.

Girls in Villa 31 break during a game to pose for the camera.

OK, so you never know when it´s over when you´re shooting a documentary. Maybe we´ll go back to film some more, but for now, we got all the coverage we need for our documentary on a girl´s soccer team in Villa 31 de Retiro–a shantytown with thousands of people right next to the richest neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Honestly, I´d love to keep going back and perhaps in the future we´ll do a video project with the girls–we are already talking about getting them to write a cumbia song about being female soccer players.

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Hand-built 4 and 5 floor houses surround the soccer field in Villa 31.

So, our last shoot was a practice session, which started out great–the girls got to play in the dirt field with no problems for about an hour. Then, the men came and started playing “over” the girls and pushing the to a smaller and smaller portion of the field. No rude words, just the casual pressure of knowing that they are bigger and that they are more numerous than the girls.

This is one reason why the NGO that sponsors the program is looking for funding to build a soccer field just for the girls, so that they can practice in safe conditions. Beyond that, the prospects look bright for the girls: they are playing against other teams all over the city and next year Mónica Santino, the trainer, is going to start a women´s soccer championship in the villa.

Gabriel Balanovsky films in Villa 31

Gabriel Balanovsky films in Villa 31. Mural of assassinated priest Father Mugica looks on.

Girls play against another team in Villa 31

Girls play against another team in Villa 31

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