80 Norwegians Walk into a Shantytown. . .

No, it’s not the start of bad joke but what we filmed last Saturday in the Villa 31 Shantytown in Buenos Aires. Many people come to visit the girls and play soccer with them, which the girls themselves like. “We meet people we otherwise wouldn’t” and “we get to show them that we are good people” were two responses we got from the girls on camera. BUT it quite a site. Out of nowhere appeared 80 blonde, blue-eyed 20 year old girls to play with the 20 girls who play soccer in the Villa. Almost the entire neighborhood showed up to watch, and at one point, a religious ceremony took place, featuring mariachis, dancing Bolivians in traditional dress and two brass bands (I was focusing on the girls, but from what I understand, it was a procession for the Virgin). It began to feel like an Emir Kusturica movie:

(if you don’t know who Kusturica is, stop what you’re doing and go rent Underground, now!)

And in the middle of this entire crazy scene, a woman appeared demanding that we stop filming and that the girls vacate the film. Her reasoning (and I see where she’s coming from) is that the community put a lot of work and effort into building field and that she didn’t want people to be making money off of it through tourism. Coach Monica explained that we were filming a documentary highlighting all the good things that are going on in the Villa and that it was a cultural exchange, not tourism.

Just to show, there is no such thing as an easy shoot day on this documentary!


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