In Football We Trust

Directed by Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn

‘In Football We Trust’ captures a snapshot in time amid the rise of the Pacific Islander presence in the NFL. Presenting a new take on the American immigrant story, this feature length documentary transports viewers deep inside the tightly-knit Polynesian community in Salt Lake City, Utah. With unprecedented access and shot over a four-year time period, the film intimately portrays four young Polynesian men striving to overcome gang violence and near poverty through American football. Viewed as the "salvation" for their families, these young players reveal the culture clash they experience as they transform out of their adolescence and into the high stakes world of collegiate recruiting and rigors of societal expectations.


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  • ★★★★½ review by audiblebeauty on Letterboxd

    This documentary is about four young men of Polynesian descent living and playing football in Utah. Football is seen as a way out and up from often difficult lives of immigrant families dealing with broken homes, alcoholism, and gangs. Two brothers play on the same high school team, only to see one follow in the footsteps of his father--now with regrets--who formed a gang in his younger years. Another who's a local prep sports star stumbles in his rookie year on a college team, dashing some family hopes of the potential earning power of going onto the NFL. A beautiful documentary, well-made, interesting to follow.

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