Highlighting human resilience and the primacy of intimate relationships ORDINARY GODS examines what it takes to thrive not just in the world’s most beloved sport, but in life itself. Shot in eight different countries over the course of three years, this film offers a compassionate observation of the lives of six young professional soccer players as they struggle with injury, homesickness, and the pressure of being a rising talent on the international stage.
“I have always been sensitive to ordinary people in ordinary circumstances – painting their daily human experiences with the hope of shining some light along the way. When crafting this film, I would repeatedly remind my team that the story should be approached as if our subjects were carpenters, butchers, bank tellers or what-have-you; in that their professional skills would not be dictating their story. It was their common humanity we were unearthing, and their universal truths would surface through them first as people, and second as football players.”
Pascui Rivas - Ordinary Gods
“If the merit of the sports film were to be measured only by its capacity to forsake the many hackneyed stations of the genre, then Pascui Rivas’s magisterial documentary, Ordinary Gods, would surely deserve its place in the pantheon. Rivas, though, is hardly content to upend conventions for the sake of it. Its sights set elsewhere entirely, the film proffers something like a biographical analysis of the political economy of international soccer, in which players serve as both alienated labor and abstract commodities. But there’s nothing abstract about the six young players at the center of this project. Prodigious talents all, their interest for Rivas lies not in what is presumably godly about them, but instead in what is wholly ordinary about their struggles to navigate the extraordinary circumstances into which their talent has thrust them. That Ordinary Gods never shrinks from the supremely mundane, altogether human dimensions of those struggles is perhaps the truest testament to its greatness.”
(UCLA/LA Film Forum/ Festival of Inappropriation)