Index - Culture - Can a coach shout and swear to make girls better?

In this world, the XXI. by the 16th century, something had to break a lot, otherwise documentaries like Raise the bar would not be made. Gudjon Ragnarsson’s film is about an Icelandic coach, Brynjar Karl Sigurðsson, about his coaching methods, his outlook on life and his upbringing on the girls playing on the basketball team. Or …

Because this movie is about a topic that makes you

  • the ideologues of the mainstream government, which sees traditional gender roles as dogma, are likely to go to the wall for the first time, and at least shout a lantern if not a wolf,
  • feminists and human rights defenders draw all their sails to the mast and call a minimum lantern if they are not wolves,
  • gender schools include film in educational curricula,
  • child protectors, educators, parents and psychologists are divided into schools and camps,
  • and opinion-formers explain the essence of the film fiercely, hoping that while they shout my lantern, if not a wolf, the counter next to the like icon will spin on Facebook, even beating their previous post.

But what makes this film divisive?

Perhaps from coming up with a theme that in a world where many people see society as a man, a woman and a woman, accordingly, a girl is a girl, a boy is also a boy, it becomes incomprehensible when a basketball coach tries to teach and raise girls 8-11 years old to life in a different way than usual, expected, and the principles enshrined in dogmas.

Perhaps it is divisive that there are many who say that gender can indeed be different from that of biology, and that no girl should necessarily be raised among pink plush ponies, but should be faced with a level of requirement similar to boys and motivational training, because all that is at all it can prevail, not in the showing and unfolding of gender roles, but mostly in the quality of the actions taken to achieve the goals, in the methods of struggle.

And that’s what’s going on with the soul, the child, the hiding in the adult, the socially entrenched, well, that’s what this film is really about. And whether a child can be brought up in a way he or she is not yet prepared for, and whether we can shout at him or her just because we expect him or her to understand the essence of the teaching. That you fight, you fight, stand up for yourself, only the best is valuable, and that if you don’t do it from the heart, it’s better if you disappear.

A statement that can be understood as many questions. Fact. It is a reality that can be confronted with parents, educators, professionals and committee members.

Symposium of the High Standard

In 2015, a not-so-ordinary Icelandic coach, Brynjar Karl Sigurðsson, decided to start a basketball team and teach the little ones to play basketball not in the usual way, but in his own way, which is disputed by many.

She not only vaccinates eight-year-old girls with a love of sports, discipline, technical knowledge and team spirit, but also prepares them mentally for competitive situations.

Under his leadership, the team will very soon be the best of its age, they will be in a league with older girl teams.

Sigurðsson raises real girls from little girls, who stand up for themselves not only on the field, but also in real life.

However, the coach wants to raise the bar even higher. The only way to improve is for girls to compare their skills with teams of just boys. However, natural boy-girl matches abroad are banned by the island nation’s basketball association, famous for its women’s equality, without any meaningful dialogue.

Because it’s okay, every coach educates you in different ways. Coach Brynjar, for example, is like the reincarnation of Lycurgus. In his person, he is the custodian of the ideal of the Spartan state. He educates and teaches in hard ways. He roars with the girls, expecting maximum loyalty, faith in training, fanaticism, physical and mental suffering, saying the path to success is not decided on the field but in the head. In the training and programming of leather-necked commandos, all this is a really effective, proven method, as it was in ancient Sparta, because in the times when most of the city-states were ruled by a tyrant, and in which a king was not necessarily good, it was necessary. Not to mention that there were even the conquering Persians, that is, no wonder if the lean soul instilled in the lean body was a symbol of ideality, both men and women were in its service, born into it, and the soldiers from the battle or with their shields, or they returned home on their shields. That’s how they could be heroes alive and dead.

However, these girls, in Iceland, are still little girls. In fact, the climate is harsh over there, and we can look at a basketball match like a battle, just why … Or do we have to … Do I have to?

Coach Brynjar says the game is just a game. What she is trying to pass on to the girls is the attitude that the teenagers will be able to have in life. What they are learning, specifically while playing basketball. One of the parents also tells her that it is okay for her to treat the girls harshly and consistently, but in the meantime she should not swear at them, as they are not heard at home. By the time the coach replies, he’s only preparing them for the situations they’ll encounter later anyway. Another father, struggling with his tears, recounts that what he failed to achieve to keep his daughter determined and independent was the coach’s success, and he is grateful for it.

Have a person on your feet who, in such a situation, is able to decide whether all that Gudjon Ragnarsson reveals with the documentary is a critique of the weakness of a now softened society, a portrayal of disintegrating parenting roles, a demonstration of conventional habits, or is an example of overdoing a coaching method. Probably all and none. Just a glimpse of what happens when, in a world where, from a question of why a teenage girls team can’t play a stakes match with a teenage boys team, we can get to the point where women are still discriminated against in a single snippet.

Because it is stated in the film that Icelandic girls are not raised like Icelandic boys. At least No To keep fighting, to be strong and courageous, to keep moving forward.

The end result of the film is not reassuring. On the other hand, it brings us several questions again:

  • can 8-11 year olds be conditioned in this way, as coach Brynjar did,
  • a school of strength would be more effective than any other method,
  • can a child be a means to the fulfillment of our own worldview,
  • how long is the parent’s responsibility to let his or her child play sports?
  • what should a society do if girls want to compete with boys,
  • if a society did not allow this, would it immediately be evidence of the disadvantage of women?

And there are still many questions and slow answers, but such documentaries are strong. It shows what we humans are like. What we do to ourselves and what we are capable of to be better, much better than others.

One thing is for sure, though: at the end of the film, the girls are doing something that will certainly even go against it, destroying what they’ve been fighting for until then. Indeed, it has been proven countless times in history that by humiliating others, truth remains just a foggy idea, even if they experience it as a victory.

And how is there a lesson?

The lesson is often just a process. If this is an understanding and analytical discourse, then this film is not in vain. But if strength, dogma, and defiance are easy, humanity will act like the ancient Sparta: some stone walls, names, and laws will survive, but will essentially disappear without successors.

A 8. Budapest International Documentary Festival in its offer about 50 films can be seen in ten big cities across the country, as well as in Cinema City Mammut II in Budapest. in his cinemas. In five sections (Brave Children, Brave Women, Brave Residents, Brave Wayfinders, Brave Dreamers) 32 international competition films will be screened between January 22 and 30, 2022 – there is no Hungarian documentary among them.

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