Le Ballon d'Or

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

This deceptively light comedy-drama follows the unsentimental education of village boy Bandian (fresh-faced Sumah), a diminutive teenager mad-keen on football and hopeful of great things in the euphoric atmosphere of Cameroon's unprecedented challenge in the 1990 World Cup. Doukouré traces the condition of the boy's life in scenes that lose no power through their low-key integration into the narrative. Bandian's mother languishes ill for lack of care, and he is forced to rely on the Médecins sans Frontières centre run by doctor Isabelle (Soral); nor are the boy's skills helped by having to play with what look like coconut shells. As Bandian moves to the big city and comes under the sway of both businessman Béchir, and football manager Karim (Malian soccer star Keita), who wants to nurture Bandian's talents for the good of African football, the metaphorical resonances threaten to drown out the drama, but the gusto and vitality of the playing, the vibrancy of the photography and the sympathy of the direction pull it through.

By: WH


Release details

100 mins

Cast and crew

Cheik Doukouré
Cheik Doukouré, David Carayon
Agnès Soral
Amara Camara
Aboubacar Sidiki Soumah
Habib Hammoud
Salif Keita
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