This is Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide fans
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…an unabashed celebration…
A documentary about the tribalism and fervent passion evoked from supporting football teams, This Is Port Adelaide is an unabashed celebration of the club’s history on its 150th year of existence.
In a rich black-and-white tapestry, the film focuses primarily on the fans’ hell-bent enthusiasm to support the club. One sequence early on transitions from grainy archival footage of fans rushing out of trains and packing the stands, to supporters in the modern day following the same ritual.
This enduring loyalty is encapsulated in the numerous anecdotes and locations that typify the sacred rituals ingrained within the club, and its reverence for its fans. One gentleman describes his mother’s mood oscillating when he was a child; “if Port Adelaide lost, we probably didn’t get dinner”, while others have entire rooms dedicated in their house to Port Adelaide paraphernalia, showcasing his most treasured memorabilia from premiership eras.
The documentary narrows itself down to the club’s on-field performance in its 150th year, 2020. However, COVID inevitably meant many months went by without football, and when it returned, crowds were either non-existent or sparse, devastating fans who live for their club.
The documentary’s music video-like temporality intersperses highlights from matches with fan involvement, building momentum for something important to occur. However, when COVID brings the season to a screeching halt, the film’s lack of access to the club’s inner sanctum in what would be historical decisions during 2020, detracts from the significance of the 150th year itself. Having said that, interviews with AFL luminaries such as former commentator Bruce McAvaney, Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams, and former AFL CEO Ross Oakley, just to name a few, gives credence to the club’s cultural significance on the sporting landscape.
Nicole Miller’s nostalgic reminiscing illustrates the fans as the epicentre of the football club, while success, be it from grassroots level to the national competition, has been the binding strength of this Australian sporting behemoth.