Futbolistas 4 Life Follows Youth Bringing a Soccer Field to Oakland’s Fruitvale

By Julianne Hing Jun 13, 2014

World Cup fever is officially upon us. But what about soccer played a little closer to home?

What happens when Latino youth from Life Academy in Oakland’s Fruitvale, where homicide is the leading cause of death for young people, turn to soccer as a refuge from the streets? They put together a campaign to turn their "prison playground" into a soccer field. Futbolistas 4 Life is a documentary about their story, and the filmmakers have put together a Kickstarter campaign to help finish the film.

The filmmakers write

In 2012, there were 131 homicides across all of Oakland – the highest in six years. Soccer becomes a uniting force for the high school students in this film, who come to call themselves "Futbolistas 4 Life." By bringing the community together around a new soccer field, they are determined to stop the cycle of violence in their community with courage, willpower and optimism. 

 In the last few years, these teens have lost four young people to gun violence in their small public high school. Their soccer club has become a space where they discuss their experiences with violence, poverty and immigration while strategizing ways to support their community. The film shows the passion and resiliency of these teens who create a legacy for future generations. 

Check out more at their Kickstarter.