Watch It: Santigold Mixes Molotov Cocktails And Soccer In New World Cup Video

The riotous “Kicking Down Doors” joins the Beats of the Beautiful Game line-up.

What are the odds a soccer ball could stop a riot? Yeah, good luck with that. Yet here we see unidentified protesters facing off against riot police, until a kid’s soccer ball rolls amid the chaos. Suddenly the tension lifts and for a few moments enemies put aside their grievances to have a little kickabout. Cheesy? A bit. Unrealistic? You might be surprised.


The new video for Santigold‘s latest tune “Kicking Down Doors,” which, along with songs from Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monae, Timbaland, Rita Ora, R3hab and more appears on Pepsi’s “Beats of the Beautiful Game” album, is actually inspired by a just as unlikely event from the First World War.

Director Andy Morahan says the initial idea came from The Christmas Truce. “The English and German soldiers put down their guns and played some football in No Man’s Land,” says Morahan. “I was thinking of a way to try and tell that story in a modern light. Obviously I didn’t have the budget for a war scene, but a riot was more reasonable as a severe stand-off between people. It’s showing football, and sport by extension, as this beacon for humanity.”

The video joins the Beats of the Beautiful Game series, that pairs directors like Spike Lee, Idris Elba, and Diego Luna with music artists to create something inspired by soccer in some way.

Morahan filmed “Kicking Down Doors” in Kiev, Ukraine, in recent months, a place not unfamiliar with the kind of vibe he was going for. “Some people asked if I went there because there’s been rioting and stuff like that, but not at all,” says Morahan. “I was in Prague and wanted to shoot it there but the budget wouldn’t fit, so we were only an hour flight from Kiev and I’d worked there before so knew some people there who could help me out. Really, it was just close by and it fit the budget.”


About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.