Foosballers | Chicago Reader

Foosballers

Most people think of foosball as a game that’s played casually in someone’s basement or the occasional dive bar, but for some it's a way of life. Invented in Europe in the 1920s, foosball (or table soccer) was introduced to the U.S. in the 1950s, where it reached peak popularity in the 1970s before the rise of video games all but decimated the industry. Joseph Heslinga’s Foosballers explores that history and the fervent subculture that still surrounds the sport decades after mainstream culture deemed it obsolete, while spotlighting a handful of elite players as they train for an upcoming tournament. Like any great subculture documentary, Foosballers is at its best while opening a window into the passion, dedication, and personal stories of its subjects. And though the film begins to get weighed down in all its details and minutiae, the intensity heightens as the players convene at the Tornado World Championships to compete for prize money and the chance to rank among the best foosball players on Earth.

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