Presented by: a film by Sylwester Latkowski
Can you see anyone in the bushes there?
533... just encourage them to march towards us.
Legia's an old whore... ... Legia FC must be beaten.
Let the horses pass.
Sure, we're all a bit afraid...
We're standing face to face with one another and we are slightly anxious.
But it's not fear or chickening. There's too much adrenaline for that...
...it's just that - at the back of your mind - you try to be careful.
How do you feel after the fight?
lt depends. Sometimes you feel all right...
...other times you feel bad - it's when they kick you too hard in the head.
But it's ok when you're just bruised and still have all teeth ...
... you'll have your skull x-rayed,
take a deep breath and feel fine again.
lt's worse when some problems come out of this.
Health problems, l mean.
- Where are we now? - Neptune's square.
This is where we hang out.
Just come here and you're bound to meet somebody.
We come here when we don't have anything to do.
Sometimes, we're here in the evenings.
But we're not doing any harm...
... then the police come and start accusing us of everything.
Move out, fuck!
They tell us we assault or rob people. Later, they send some summons...
... to our friends that they've beaten someone.
Bullshit, we are just standing there.
Beat him like a dog!
l'm fed up with the police 'cause they're not doing what they should be.
We went to Arka vs. Lechia game.
They dragged us out of the line and insulted us...
... treating us like hooligans.
When we were escorted, the policemen were ...
... making remarks:
''They aren't real hooligans, they don't even wrangle....
...but Lechia will show them''. So, why should we like police?
Lechia's fans have broken the gate. They're entering the field.
The fans are over the fence. They are on the field now.
At the moment, everything is under control...
there's order on the field.
Now they're throwing boards and stones at the policemen.
Several people were badly beaten.
A man has been stabbed with a knife...
... and died on the spot.
lt was too late for an ambulance to come.
... with you...
People perceive us as bandits.
They think we aim at innocent citizens.
They are wrong. We are not like this.
Hooligans are ordinary people.... ... just normal, young guys.
We don't stand out of the crowd too much.
The only difference is we have
shorter hair and wear blouses with hoods...
... with a ''hooligan'' sign on them.
... then hard fucking until morning...
... then beer, vodka and waste the motherfucker...
Get on the top of him!
First such event was organized in Warsaw.
And there was one in Szczecin, too.
l think it will develop in the future. lt's quite a popular sport abroad.
Here, we are still in the stone age.
What districts do they come from?
All sorts of. But mainly from these large house-of-blocks-areas...
From poor families, l think.
Probably eighty per cent of their parents are alcoholics...
... and kids try to do something by themselves.
Usually, they stay of out schools.
Eventually, either they succeed or follow their parents' path.
What district are you from?
Downtown. lt's a more of a peaceful area, l think.
You can allow the ones who have tickets.
Get up! lt's not that bad!
Get your head out!
l've got six men at the entrance, they're without shields or truncheons.
- l'm not drunk. Let me in, please. - Let him in, man.
l'll be polite. l'm not drunk.
They are trying to disassemble a steel barrier...
- Where is it? - At the gate where they broke it.
- Apart from that, it's quiet. - Continue to monitor it, ok?
That's one idiot.
You have to be careful not to poke yourself with these bars.
He's going to make himself a bat.
Watch the other yellow gate there.
They are tampering with it, too.
- You go last. - They'll waste me there, man...
Don't worry. The police are everywhere. You'll be safe.
Am l a dog or what?! l've got my ticket. l am from Gdynia!
You were one of those illegal fighters in Poland...
Yeah, that's what l used to do in the past.
But these were fair fights, with rules.
We were not allowed to attack eyes, bite ...
... kick the opponent in testicles or hit the back of his head.
We had no gloves but it wasn't very different to what we have today.
Were you making more money on fighting or working?
Don't be silly...
What do you mean?
Sure l had decent money from the fights.
But it's nothing to be proud of.
Weren't you afraid then?
You are always a bit afraid. Cause you don't know your opponent...
...or you are afraid of being discredited in front of you girlfriend and so on...
There are many situations you would worry about.
Legia's an old bitch!
lt's the TV that tells people we are killers,
fighting each other to death.
l don't know if they mention weapons or not...
But it has a huge impact on how people perceive this sport.
They are not telling the truth and that's why fighting looses its value.
There's a whole myth of a cage, you know.
For some, it's still an underground sport.
They associate the cage with fighting dogs.
But you can fight in a boxing ring using the same rules.
People are shocked just to see the cage.
They watched too many films with Van Damme
where two guys go inside...
... and after the fight one of them is carried in a plastic bag.
l don't think anything like that has ever happened.
To me, this is complete bullshit.
This would be another ''corner'' where these boys hang out.
Recently, some new kids have appeared.
There's always someone standing here.
You can easily see what's going on at the main street
and inside the district.
This is a classic police-taxiing.
... Just a sign of control.
They come and go all the time, checking us.
Even when we meet to play rugby.
They take down our data, '' 'cause it's too loud'' or too many people standing.
But we gather just to talk or play. We can't afford sitting in pubs.
l think it's better to stand here than go stealing or wreaking havoc.
But they will always come, regardless of what we do.
What does it mean to be a hooligan?
lt's being a football fan of your favourite club...
...and - above all - going to brawls.
l didn't expect Robert to go with us today...
Stop the camera, please.
We are trying not to fight at stadiums. We moved out of the field...
... because we didn't want to ruin the show anymore.
But people can't understand that.
Well, we make brawls 'cause we like fighting.
These pills give you a kick like speed, man.
Why there's such a cult of physical force in these areas?
Because it helps you.
People look at you differently when you're strong.
... lf a guy proves capable in several situations,
it becomes easier for him to live.
The cult of force has always existed.
Stronger people have always had more to say than the weaker.
And l'm not only talking ''physical strength''.
lt's been within us since the beginning...
And it will stay like that forever - whether we like it or not.
Take a picture of the objects they are throwing.
The fans cover their faces with scarves.
They are throwing wooden objects.
lt's fairly quiet now. They're afraid of the police.
- Ok, get back on you position then. - But we are still filming...
Now they started throwing stones...
No one joins us out of the blue....
lt's not enough to put on
a hooligan t-shirt and be good at fighting.
ln a melee of 20 or 30 people on each side,
20 guys are a fixed group.
lf there's more than 20 guys needed, there's a possibility
we take somebody with us.
We have 21 men...
... l'll go tell them we are here. Then, we'll do a normal warm-up...
But if any of you have any problems with knuckles or legs
he'll take care of that.
When did you begin training martial arts?
l was in 7th grade. But it was only Karate then. ...
Later came boxing, judo and kickboxing and others.
And from these several disciplines, l created my own style.
We wipe these motherfuckers out of this planet. Right away. ...
... Wham-bam... and they're dead! Then we cover one another.
... l'll tell you about that later.
Slightly worn, isn't it?
Most of the guys are training various martial arts.
To be honest, to become a hooligan you'll need
something more than just guts.
You need to know how to fight. lt's important.
Everyone wants to cope with his life somehow.
lf you work out at the gym ...
... or train martial arts it gives you a sense of security.
Because this grey reality is not so beautiful...
not as they show you on TV.
Every style of fighting requires training.
Guys who train only for brawls... ... are using different techniques.
They learn how work as a team.
They prefer to fight in an upright position.
You'd hardly see any fighting ...
... on the ground, because it easier to get kicked in the head.
Hooligans choose styles that are suitable for brawls or street-fighting.
Kick him in the head, but just for a starter.
Don't jump on him...
... or better don't kick at all. Grab him and hit straight in the face.
Remember - use you elbows.
No jumping on anybody. That's a rule.
lf anyone falls down - watch his back. lf you see anyone on the ground...
... help him to fight of the guy. But don't kick in the head.
Jump on him, three fast blows and the motherfucker is out.
Do you teach anyone?
Yeah. l show them some tricks
but not to attack accidental people.
You know why l do this?
My boxing coach used to be a gymnastics teacher...
... in a primary school.
He told me he was showing some basics to his pupils.
Remember, keep your head low and ...
And use your elbows, fuck!
Keep shields on the other side.
Why do young people train martial arts?
Some want to impress their friends, others just need competition...
... or they want to learn how to fight in order to defend themselves.
They do it for many reasons.
To be honest, l haven't thought much about it.
They are in every section.
Each boxing, kickboxing or judo section has a few ...
... guys that fight in these brawls.
Some work out in a gym, others train fighting ...
... Anyway, the times when the fan was associated
with a liquor bottle, are over.
Nowadays, football fans are sportsmen.
They don't drink or do anything to degrade
... their capabilities. Otherwise, it would be pathetic.
A group of bums against a group of fit men ...
... can have only one result. 30 seconds and it's all over.
They struggled to even get here. Only 21 of them came.
They are fucking sissies. We've got to waste them right out!
l don't do it just because someone made me do it. l really like it.
Probably most of my friends would tell you the same.
Some do it to just show off and attract someone's attention, that's for sure.
But me - l simply enjoy fighting. That's what l am training for.
Brawls are just a break for me.
What do my parents think? ... l'm sure they aren't happy.
Actually, there's nothing good in being a hooligan.
Mom knows what l do and what it's all about.
... Once she saw a tape by accident. lt was a year after a brawl.
She watched the tape and finally understood ...
... what had happened to me before.
She remembered how bad l had looked then.
She noticed a date on the screen and simply associated facts.
She was crying when l came home.
''How could you do this to me? Why did you lie to me?'' ... and so on.
My father had a different attitude because he is a man.
l'm not sure they ever got used to it.
Every time l go somewhere,
my mother tells me to be careful.
l try not to talk about it to her.
... lf l go out, l just say we go to a match and stuff...
But l don't tell her about the brawls.
Do you love your parents, your mother?
Yeah. l do.
- Why do you fight? What for? - For pleasure. lt's very relaxing.
You know, some like Mc Donald,
others watch porn movies and feel pleasure.
l take pleasure from putting on boxing gloves
or fighting on the ground.
This is my own pleasure. And a break from reality.
lt's an extreme form of a fight sport. Similarly, you can ski for recreation...
... or jump on a parachute when skiing in high mountains.
Every discipline has it.
Generally, people look for something more challenging or choose simple things.
l do enjoy it.
lt's not that l take pleasure from kicking someone's ass...
lt turns me on. And it's a way to relieve stress.
You work several hours a day ... ... and you can let off some steam.
You sweat, give yourself a physical strain ...
... and, instead of being mean to you family, you start feeling better.
Yet, some guys become permanently disabled...
l'm not going to talk about in front of the camera, Sylwester.
Let's just say that a few guys were injured at one time or another.
But you can experience the same on the street.
You can be beaten by some freak ... ... with a bottle or a bat.
lt's just an example, you know.
But this may happen.
You don't regard yourself a bandit, as people think hooligans...
Why should we show it publicly? We're not doing it for anyone...
...But you make films and take pictures...
Yeah, but we do it only for us - just to have a keepsake.
You take these pictures, right?
l can't afford a decent equipment
but l'm trying to make it look professional.
Maybe in a few years we'll show it to our kids or something.
Either it will be normal then,
or they'll be shocked to see what we used to do.
When sixty people are fighting, it's pretty hard to see everyone.
But the camera catches everything.
And we had cases when guys proved weak.
Someone was kicking their friend on the ground
and they were turning their back...
Anyway, it would be nice to watch it someday.
Just to see who we were.
lt's not about fear or shame.
We simply don't want people to watch it.
lt won't change anything - even when they see what it looks like.
Either way, they won't accept it.
lt's brutal, full of coarse language,
there's blood - like in a real fight.
You beat as hard as you can.
And people are not going to like it - that's for sure.
Still, l think, many people understand that.
lt's just a popular opinion they don't.
lt's even convenient for them.
We don't fight at stadiums anymore...
... where older people come with their families.
Now there's different... ...atmosphere than it used to be.
And l think a smart person would appreciate ...
... the fact that we fight outside stadiums.
And it is better, because people ...
... are no longer forced to be a part of this.
We are not a bunch of freaks that enjoy beating one another for fun.
We train to be able to test ourselves, in a cage or against other people.
There are just a few of us. People think we are some weirdos.
Look at what young guys do in this country.
They are junkies or bums.
Now, compare that to what we do.
l'm not sure which is better.
Why did you write: ''You'll never be alone''?
Different things happen in life, you know.
And if one of us runs into problems ... ... we are able to help him.
ln my life as a hooligan it means that when l'm with my friends
at brawls or matches ...
... on the street, railway station, whatever...
and some guys provoke us.
We are outnumbered. And ''you'll never be alone''
means we will stay together.
Until the end. Regardless of the consequences.
And no one ever drops out.
ln my everyday life it means friendship
having a real friend, who is beside me...
... at all times.
And, generally speaking, we help each other.
On a daily basis, l train and attend school.
What kind of school?
l'm in the third year of Tourism College.
After that l'll try to make my M.A.
There's not much work here.
We usually work during a holiday season...
... when more discos are open.
We go to the peninsula and work there.
lt's better to go to school if you have no work.
But sometimes you have to pay.
lt's ok for those who can afford it.
But if you have no work or school to go to... you're in deep shit.
l graduated two schools and that changed my attitude towards life.
What kind of school was it?
Pedagogy of reclamation... lt's for people you mentioned earlier.
l work for a company and l train. This eats the whole day.
l'd like to spend some more time with my family
because l love them.
You tend to loose important things when you haven't got time.
- Do your school colleagues know? - ...Yeah, they do.
- How about professors? - No, they don't know, l think.
What do you wear at school?
Just causal clothes - jeans, t-shirts... l don't stand out of the crowd.
Sometimes l come with a black eye and they know.
They think l went to a match...
... or a training. Other times, they read something
in a newspaper and don't have to...
... ask any questions. They already know.
But, generally, they show interest.
They ask me to tell them how it went or something.
They are juts curious 'cause it's totally unknown for them.
Aren't you afraid that your mom
will have to pick you up from a mortuary?
Now, when we are speaking, l'm aware this may happen someday.
l know it's a huge risk and you're taking chances
because you can loose your health.
But when the phone rings, these thoughts are gone.
You only think of fighting.
lt stays somewhere at the back of your mind, but you don't think about it.
What will be, will be.
Sure, it's just a stage in our lives. We won't be going to brawls forever.
Younger guys will come after us and do the same things.
We will stay football fans and hooligans forever.
But we won't be that active.
Written & directed by:
English translation by Tomasz Perczynski
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