Hull Literature Festival 2001 8th - 18th November
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African Visions
'The Golden Ball'
Film at Hull Screen, Hull Central Library
Wednesday 14th November

A review of 'The Golden Ball'
By Jonathan Hague, film student at Wyke College

When I was invited to go and see an African film at the Hull Film Festival I quite honestly expected to be sitting in a dainty little room with a stone-age projector watching a low-budget, low-quality film. Nevertheless I decided it would be an experience and an experience it was because what I actually found was a welcoming festival, a state of the art theatre and an incredible film.

'The Golden Ball' is set in Cameroon, Africa and is an incredible adventure of a 12-year-old boy dreaming of leaving the desperate poverty of his village in search of football superstardom. The film gives a deep insight into African culture as well as being innovative and well structured. 'The Golden Ball' is hilarious, moving and thought provoking throughout. The cast are impeccable, especially the young star of the movie.

Anyone interested in seeing movies that are primarily about the plot and narrative rather than special effects, sex and making money should go to see the other films in this series. 'The Golden Ball' is without doubt one of the best movies I have ever seen and I for one am eagerly awaiting next year's festival.

The Golden Ball

Many people would have been put off going to see this film on the basis that it is all in French and set in Africa. Such people are fools, and I was almost one of them. To be honest, when I arrived at the Hull Screen I was half expecting to be leaving two hours later slightly confused and, dare I say it, maybe even a little bored. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead I found myself being treated to a lesson in the art of storytelling, something so often lost amid the special effects of modern mainstream cinema.

The Golden Ball was gripping, funny, heart-warming, packed full of great performances and more importantly it had some great footy scenes that actually worked a lot better than a lot of the mind-numbing, slow-mo, soft-rock accompanied sequences found in many US sports films. Quite simply, if you missed it you missed out. My advice to you would be to get your backside in gear and go to see all that the festival has to offer while you still have the chance. If, however, world cinema aint your thing you can always stay at home and watch Mr. Baseball´┐Ż it's your choice.

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