UK/Rwanda, 2011, 88 minutes, Colour.
Eriya Ndayambaje, Roger Nsengiyumva, Sanyu Joanita Kintu
Directed by Debs Paterson.
This is a film for children. It is also for family audiences. With British backing, it is a film that can be seen by English speaking audiences all over the world. However, the film would be a delight for African audiences, like the children who are seen in the film.
The film starts in Rwanda and journeys to six other countries as a group of children make their way to the World Cup matches in South Africa, 2010. The main boy is a mini-entrepreneur, helping his young friend, who is a very good soccer player, to get to South Africa to link up with the talent scout that they had met at home. The entrepreneur’s sister goes along with them.
At first they go in the wrong direction, getting help to move south towards the countries neighboring South Africa. They have many adventures, picking up a number of youngsters who accompany them on the way. They have difficulties at borders with documents. They come across child soldiers. They come across resorts which exploit young girls. This leads them into all kinds of unusual experiences, which they cope with well. Before arriving in South Africa, they come across a mission station, where the young girl stays to continue her education with the sisters, and the young boy falling ill and unable to continue the journey.
However, after difficulties at the South African border, they eventually arrivee in Johannesburg, the soccer player is able to participate in the World Cup events.
While the film has a generally rollicking tone, many of the serious problems of Africa emerge in terms of health, education, opportunities, child soldiers, exploitation…
1. The target audience for this film? Children? Families? Adults? The African audience? European and western audiences? Interesting children, soccer, the World Cup?
2. The UK, South Africa, Rwanda production? The Rwandan background, writer, director?
3. The 2010 World Cup, dreams, playing, achievement? The title and the football team?
4. The locations, the range of countries, the range of terrains? Jungle, lush, desert?
5. The animated sequences, the style of drawing, characters, backgrounds, humor? The map? The musical score? The African Town?
6. Dudu, the introduction, his age, con man, an entrepreneur? The contrast with Fabrice, his wealthier background, his ability with soccer, kicking? The presence of the scouts? Dudu and his being the manager, the hard deals? Fabrice at home, his mother, hard? Forbidding him to go? The little girl, her study? The decision to go? The bus?
7. On the bus, talking, the nuts, the case, hiding things? The destination, the border? The wrong destination, direction? The role of the officials and their response?
8. The maps, indicating the journey, indicating all the countries?
9. The resort, the beach, Celeste, the money? The tricks, leaving? The story?
10. The intermediary, the soldiers, George, the escape, the gun and the money, hiding in the forest?
11. The group being held up, taking Fabrice’s sneakers?
12. HIV AIDS, the money, the tests, the girl and her anxiety?
13. Dudu, his illness, the nuns and their concern, the little girl being able to go to school?
14. Crossing the border, into South Africa, the difficulties, the guards, the contact with the talent scout?
15. Arrival at the World Cup? Not too late? The scout? Fabrice and his participation?
16. The range of characters, the shrewdness, Celeste and her background, the man keeping her, her escape? George, the child soldiers, the thugs in pursuit? Outwitting them, the guns? Border guards and the border officials? The genial scout?
17. The portrait of the children, the African style, enterprise? Humor? Sadness, especially concerning Dudu?