Things Fall Apart is a part-fictional, part-documentary film following the recent grassroots protests of Coventry City Football Club supporters, during the exile of the club to Northampton during the 2013/2014 season. The film depicts a disenfranchised community and a local battle for the intangible values of place, identity and belonging, in which a major international hedge fund appears to hold the cards.
The drone of bagpipes echoes eerily across the slope, its spell cast down upon the scruffy stadium below. The Last Post. The piper on the Hill is flanked by a silent crowd, all facing front, eyes cast down towards Sixfields. We wanna go home, we wanna go home...
Set in the heart of the West Midlands, the film portrays the plight of the supporters of Coventry City Football Club, known as the Sky Blue Army, during their protests against the uprooting of their club from the city. The football club's exile is fuelled by a dispute over a stadium and casino complex owned by a consortium consisting of a local charity and the city council, leading the club's owners hedge fund Sisu Capital Ltd., to take the club to play 'home' games 35 miles away at Northampton's Sixfields Stadium.
The film's narrative is punctuated by the voice-over of a local woman, who frames the struggle within her own psychological breakdown. The content of the woman's dreams alludes to the figure of Lady Godiva, whose mythical protest on horseback through the streets of medieval Coventry on behalf of her townsfolk endeared her forever with the people of the city, her apparition here taking on a role of intercessor.
Shot on a combination of super-8 and digital underpinned by a highly-crafted soundtrack, Things Fall Apart takes the documentary subject into a dream-like sensory space, in what might be described as an hallucinatory, or dream, ethnography.
Supported through Grants for the Arts courtesy of the Arts Council England and National Lottery.