American Pharaoh is a documentary produced by PBS detailing the struggles in Egypt and one soccer team’s journey to qualify for the ultimate tournament, the FIFA World Cup. American Pharaoh follows the Egypt National Team’s former manager Bob Bradley, who also coached the U.S. Men’s National team from 2006-2011. The documentary highlights the struggle the nation was going through at the time and the team’s attempt at making history by qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, something that brought pride and interest to its citizens around the country.
The film is set to air June 16th at 10pm ET, 4 days after the World Cup has started. The Egyptian filmmaker Hossam Aboul-Magd follows the team and their attempt to qualify for the first time in 20 years. It also showcases the country’s relationship with soccer, their activism and the revolution currently taking place. Showing the team’s desire to compete despite the violence surrounding them.
Bradley attempted to coach the team through a revolution, military takeovers, protests, and a fatal riot, ending with a crushing loss to Ghana. Although the Pharaoh’s failed to qualify, Bradley’s team won some impressive games bringing attention to the country’s struggles through their wins despite the overwhelming odds.
“This is about my country, my team, a coach I respect and the dream of capturing the World Cup in spite of enormous challenges. I see the goal of developing a strong team, in the middle of a revolution, as a metaphor for the rebuilding of Egypt,“ said Aboul-Magd.
Bradley signed on with the Egyptian team in 2011 and led the team to win every qualifying match except for a 6-1 loss against Ghana in October of 2013. Egypt was the only team in the world to accomplish a one-loss qualification run. Bradley left Egypt and now is the manager of Norwegian club Stabaek.
Aboul-Magd and his team follow Bradley and his staff while training the national team then following them to their qualifying matches around Africa. They document how the Americans worked with the Pharaoh’s to reach their goal of qualifying for the World Cup despite playing around the violence spreading throughout Egypt.