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Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story

UK, English, 81 mins

  • Director: Jon Carey; Adam Darke
  • Producer: Paul Bell; Adam Darke

CGiii Comment

Most [gay] men [of a certain age] know of the tragedy that befell Justin Fashanu.

This film attempts [and succeeds] to shed light upon the tragedy that is suicide. Be warned, it's not pretty. It is not pretty in the slightest!

The reportage - at the time - was vague and sensational: Footballer commits suicide! First openly gay fooballer: Dead!

The presumption being that homophobia and racism were the ingredients to his death. Indeed, they were...but, there were other factors, more sinister! Think about it, more sinister than homophobia and racism!?!

Reputations are not just tarnished here...they are annihilated.

Pearl - the mother - tries to justify why she abandoned her sons, leaving them in an orphanage. It's not pretty.

Betty Jackson - foster mother - reluctant, at first, agreed to take the brothers in because she loved the texture of their skin - she actually said that!!!

Footballing success, resentful sibling rivalry, homophobia, racism...and, an insatiable thirst for money, glory and rentboys...all contributed to Fashanu's downfall.

Footballing failure, a continued resent for his brother, blackmail, born-again christianity, scandal, homophobia, racism...and, an unquenchable hunger for money, glory and young boys...cemented his plunge from grace.

His narcissism was off-the-scale...that led to unavoidable terminal velocity...in an east London garage, at the age of 37...he ended his unpleasant life, unpleasantly.

What a film...saturated with crocodile tears, transparent lies and unpalatable truths. It does not judge, it doesn't need to...all the culprits are there...on-screen singing like canaries about their one-time cock-of-the-walk!

It's not pretty.



The(ir) Blurb...

Rich archive and emotional interviews are at the core of this telling of the turbulent life of British footballer Justin Fashanu. His coming out in an age of widespread homophobia not only damaged his football career, but led to the demise of his relationship with the brother with whom he shared a painful early history and a lifelong rivalry.

Cast & Characters

John Fashanu as Himself;
Justin Fashanu as Himself

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