Digital Story Critique – Hearing the Beautiful Game: Soccer without sight

A story from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil about a man named Andre de Souza Carlos who is blind and yet still plays soccer.  The story can be found at TheScene.


Andre had impaired vision from birth, but an accident later in life caused him to be completely blind.  He describes how after his blindness, “It was a big and deep fall for me.  I hit rock bottom…and [was] thinking about giving up and taking my life.”

But after he started playing soccer he started to have hope again and felt like he wanted to be around people.  He felt like his mind was working again, with expectations, dreams, and goals.   And he was accomplishing those goals.  All because of soccer.

The soccer is played on an indoor field with a ball that rattles so that the players can locate it.  There are 4 field players per team (all blind) and one goalie.  The field players wear eye covers in order to ensure someone with partial vision doesn’t have an advantage.

Watching this story should be an inspiration to those who love soccer, and even for those who don’t.  There is speed and intensity in the game as witnessed in the video.  These players didn’t let the lack of sight keep them from doing something they obviously love.

Traits used to evaluate this story –

Media application: This video was clearly produced by a professional.  Although it’s a short story (only 2:36), it tells a lot about Andre, Rio de Janeiro, and soccer.  It starts with images of a soccer match with upbeat music in the background.  There is a real sense of being present at the match.  It then moves to the story of Andre with a number of location shots around Rio where we see Andre walking the streets.  We then get shots of Andre with his fellow players that develops a real sense of their camaraderie during their game.  Using video to present this story gave me a sense of being at the location which no other media could have done so effectively.  To be able to see how the players navigated the game left me in awe of their courage and skill.  And the music added to the interest level of the story.

Flow, organization, and pacing: This was an area of strength for this video.  The story is very short, but it gives us a lot of information because of the flow, organization, and pacing.  As viewers, we not only get an introduction to soccer without sight, but we also get introduced to street life in Rio, and most importantly, a real sense of Andre and his personality.  The one part I found a bit confusing was at the very end of the video Andre sits down with a woman and two girls.  I wasn’t sure if they were his family or not.  It would have helped to have some type of indication.

Economy: Again, I felt that the economy of the story was very good.  They gave me a lot of information in just a short amount of time.  I didn’t feel that there was any time where they got off topic.  I was actually wanting to see more of the actual soccer game because I was fascinated by how the players moved, shot, and scored.  And the music was used effectively to convey a sense of mood with the different components.

Overall, I found this to be a very human story with production values that were well done.  Brief yet succinct – it tells a story of amazing individuals using the beautiful game to become players.




5 thoughts on “Digital Story Critique – Hearing the Beautiful Game: Soccer without sight

  1. Hi David,

    What a great story with a strong human element. Thanks for sharing this and your critique.

    This story is a great source of inspiration. I am always amazed at the perseverance of the human spirit. Similarly, the adaptability of the human mind is incredible. If you are ever interested there is a great book titled, The Adversity Advantage: Turning Everyday Struggles into Everyday Greatness. Erik Weihenmayer, who is blind and climbed Mount Everest and other summits is the author. Similar to this digital story you shared, it is about using adversity to succeed.

    I agree with your evaluation that the story is brief, but full of information and moves along well.


  2. Thanks for sharing David! The story is indeed very inspiring! This short video made me reevaluate the importance of a lengthy video. In only 2:36, the producer communicates powerful messages about the importance of having a purpose in life. In less than one minute we learn through breathtaking images of Brazil, the country the story takes place, we are introduced to the main character of the story, learn about disability, but most of all his unique abilities. In a country where soccer is so popular it must be very rewarding for people who are blind or visually impaired to be able to have a venue to participate and enjoy soccer. When the main character of the story started sharing how his life changed after playing soccer, the music becomes more cheerful. The narration, images and music are so well organized to make this story memorable!


  3. Hi, David!

    What a great story you shared with all of us! It sounds like this was a very steady piece that you found to review. Where did you find this digital story? What topics were you looking under when you came across this piece? I am glad you found a story that had all the elements really flow well together and with nice production as well. I would like to learn more about the production process and what software or applications to use to produce nice digital story such as this one.



    1. Hi Kendra,

      Thanks for the comments. If I remember right, I found the story with a simple Google search on the beautiful game (my topic) and digital stories. I will definitely use this site again because they have some other great stories.



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