Based on a true story, Tigers is a riveting look at the price of success in the cut-throat world of professional football.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
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Swedish drama Tigers gives viewers a frank look into the ruthless world of European professional football, where only the best of the best is ever given the chance to try out. The film is based on the groundbreaking true story of Swedish footballer Martin Bengtsson who signed to glamorous Italian football club Inter Milan. Yet signing is only the beginning of a gruelling process for young players, where reward and adulation seem tantalisingly close but every move is micromanaged and scrutinised by the powerful clubs, leaving little room for emotion or self-doubt.
Fulfilling a life-long dream, Bengtsson joins Inter as a precocious teenager, quickly learning that to succeed he will have to approach everything with a kind of fascistic discipline. His body must be terminally primed to deliver 90 minutes of physical perfection on the field.
The film plays out like a thriller, watching Bengtsson progress up the ladder at Inter. Tigers suggests that while the rewards are obvious, for many the costs will be too high. For every superstar footballer, there are hundreds of others who, having thrown their entire lives into “making it”, won't even come close. — Brannavan Gnanalingam
“[Tigers] is about a ruthless billion-dollar industry that exploits young talents until they’re either rich and famous like Zlatan Ibrahimović... or like all the forgotten players who never make it that far and are deemed failures before they ever become adults.” — Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter