After celebrating London with one of the most beautiful spots of 2018, Nike presented yesterday a ninety-second short movie dedicated to Barcelona, that pays homage to the city, the football club and the Catalan culture. The short movie celebrates 20 years of commercial partnership between the club and the American brand, exalting the characteristics of resilience and originality of the Catalan people and team. The spot has almost a politic echo given the recent issues related to the referendum for Catalan independence and the run of the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Carles Puigdemont. There are no direct and explicit political references, but Catalan nationalism has always been based on a presumption of originality of its people that is celebrated in the spot.

 

Nike's new spot celebrates FC Barcelona and Catalan culture A powerful and someway political short movie to celebrate the 20 years of partnership | Image 1
Nike's new spot celebrates FC Barcelona and Catalan culture A powerful and someway political short movie to celebrate the 20 years of partnership | Image 0

The movie alternates images of Catalan culture and a Barcelona's game, showing the same attitude and will to gain the victory. It stars lots of current players, including Andrés Iniesta, Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti, Denis Suárez, Paulinho and Alexia Putellas. There are also cameos from Barcelona legends Carles Puyol, Ronaldinho, Pep Guardiola and the late Johan Cruyff. Dutch forward Lieke Martens of the F.C. Barcelona women’s team — the reigning FIFA women’s player of the year — also has a key role. There are also a few other famous Catalans in the film, including skateboarder Pedro Attenborough and BMX rider Malcom de Blas. Most notably, the fans include 78-year-old Carles Tarrida, who attended the first-ever match at the Nou Camp on Sept. 24, 1957, where he got to see Eulogio Martínez score the stadium’s first goal. (Tarrida’s cameo is at 1:12.)

Nike's new spot celebrates FC Barcelona and Catalan culture A powerful and someway political short movie to celebrate the 20 years of partnership | Image 1
Nike's new spot celebrates FC Barcelona and Catalan culture A powerful and someway political short movie to celebrate the 20 years of partnership | Image 0

The film was directed by cinematographer Wally Pfister, who won an Oscar for his work on Inception by Christopher Nolan. Even from a visual prospective, it pays homage to the city: the grid visual style used to bring the film to life was inspired by the urbanistic layout of Barcelona, a system that was designed and built in the mid-19th century by urban planner Ildefons Cerdà. The music is an original score by traditional Catalan percussionists Kaboom, featuring Barcelona native and Latino Grammy nominee Rosalía. In conclusion, the film is really well made but still a level beneath the London one: the alternacy between images of the city - always beautiful and powerful - and the football game - that it looks too graphic, almost like a video game - reduces the powerful and deepness of the spot.