It is surprising how much abusive behaviour was tolerated by parents and sporting authorities from sports coaches. Driving young kids to the edge was the only way they would win that gold medal.
The flip side was young kids would often be left vulnerable to mental, physical or sexual abuse.
Barry Bennell was one such coach. He promised talented young school kids footballing riches. Many were later groomed and regularly abused.
Floodlights is the story of Andrew Woodward who played football for Bury. He publicly spoke out against Barry Bennell (Jonas Armstrong.)
The television movie starts with the adult Andrew Woodward being approached by the police as they try to contact possible abuse victims of Bennell. It leads to Woodward reexamining his own childhood experiences with Bennell.
It has the classic grooming techniques employed by Bennell. Charming the parents, telling them that Andrew was talented and could go a long way. Bennell organised weekend get togethers with other promising young footballers. Bennell's house would be like an arcade with all the computer games and the kids could run amok. It was a way to obtain the kids trust.
Bennell tells that Andrew that he is one of the special ones. There is a scene where Bennell strips off in front of the kids and hits the showers. Another way to show that nudity in the dressing room was natural. The kids unable to fully comprehend what just happened.
The adult Woodward is haunted by the events of the past. His footballing career is cut short and he joins the police but is later accused of gross misconduct himself. It leaves him to consider whether to go public with the press about Bennell.
It is a harrowing drama, the drama has to tread a fine line regarding the abusive behaviour given child actors were involved. Armstrong plays Bennell as someone smarmy, overly confident, someone who knew just what buttons to press and exhibit a bit of menace when required.
I was surprised to find that the drama left out just how entwined the Woodward was with the Bennells. Andrew's aunt had been murdered some years earlier by Barry Bennell's cousin. Barry himself had gone on to marry Andrew's sister.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
The former professional soccer player Andy Woodward revelations about the sexual abuse he suffered as a youth player.
May 20, 2022 at 07:43 AM
Tech specs720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1 hr 19 min
P/S 0 / 5