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“When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then bad things happen, they happen because of you.”
That’s a Peter Parker quote on Captain America: Civil War, as New York’s working-class hero accepts his youth responsibilities to the media to implement change in his community. Having seen Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children Monday night is a quote that could easily have come from the mouth of the inspiring Manchester United star.
The BBC documentary gave viewers a powerful insight into how Rashford, a 23-year-old billionaire who plays for one of the biggest clubs on the planet, became one of the most vocal champions of change in the face of a poverty crisis. unprecedented food. .
The film begins with Rashford giving us a tour of Wythenshawe in South Manchester, the area in which he grew up. He points to a fast food restaurant that would give him free fries while his mother was at work, and it becomes clear that he still has deep roots at home.
Her brother is her agent, her mother runs her fan club, and she is still speaking with the principal of her old elementary school, where she comes over to discuss the importance of the breakfast club, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic builds. more pressure than ever on parents.
“I met some of my best friends at this school’s breakfast club,” he tells his caring audience. “It was an important part of my day and you should use it as much as you can.” We soon get a glimpse of the strange duality in her life: moments later she’s in a photoshoot modeling Calvin Klein underwear.
A common theme is that Rashford spends time with the children of the community. There is a genuinely warm and incredulous smile on his face every time a young man is surprised by his presence, even if a young Liverpool fan refuses to look him in the eye. Partisanship never dies.
It becomes quite obvious that he still feels like a child himself, but his obvious maturity shines through. We see him and his agent criticizing representatives of several major supermarkets about Zoom, a meeting that convinces 12 organizations to commit to a food poverty strategy that is finally presented to the Prime Minister.
We heard from his mother, who regularly worked double shifts and cleaned on the weekends, but still struggled to feed Marcus and his two brothers. She is admirably open about what happened and tells viewers how she used to dilute the porridge to make it last longer.
We’re starting to see first-hand where his passion for the cause comes from: He almost feels guilty about his privileged position, which motivates him to use his platform to impose genuine change.
An oddly rushed segment towards the end shows a gutted Rashford after the government rejected his initiative to keep school meals free during the summer while schools are closed. Parliamentarians vote widely against; however, within a week, Rashford generated more than 1 million votes in a petition to reverse that decision. Then a 20-second clip shows Boris Johnson on the phone, eating a humble cake and agreeing to comply with her demands.
It’s something Rashford has described as one of his biggest victories, and it’s an appropriate ending point for a movie that does a good job of telling its story thus far. However, he is not getting ahead of himself – this is just one rung on an endless ladder.
“I’m happy for this moment, but we’re looking at what we can do next,” he says, before giving his mother a hug.
Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children Issued at 7pm on Monday, December 21. You can watch it again on BBC iPlayer here.