New documentary Warriors tells the story of a remote group of Maasai, who discover a passion for cricket.
Finding a common ground between the sport and their own hunting techniques, the young members of this remote Kenyan tribe take to playing cricket in their traditional vivid attire, attracting attention from around the world, and are eventually invited to the UK to take part in a tournament.
The Maasai are one of the most traditionally minded ethnic groups in Kenya. A strictly patriarchal society, they are dedicated to a tradition of early marriages and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for girls as young as six. In Warriors we see the younger men taking the opportunity of the increased global interest in their team to spread awareness of equal rights for the women in their tribe, and attempting to change the elders’ attitude towards these ancient practices.
The link between cricket and FGM seems, at first, tenuous, and at times it feels as though Warriors is trying to be two different movies, a feel-good, beautifully shot story on the unifying power of sport as well as a hard-hitting expose of the brutality of patriarchal customs. The failure to deal adequately with the colonial relationship that shapes Warriors' narrative also seems on occasion clumsy and deliberately oblivious.
But as the film develops it becomes a refreshing and universal story, about the importance of men fighting for change within their own culture. The final scene of conflict between the elders and the warriors – while perhaps a little simplistic – provides hope for the possibility of generational change.
Directed and Produced by Barney Douglas and Executive Produced by James Anderson, England cricket’s most successful international bowler of all time, Warriors is enhanced by the charisma of the warriors themselves, as well as some truly beautiful camerawork. Despite its flaws, the film tells a warm and refreshingly complex story about Africa and the power of sport, and leaves the audience hopeful for the possibility of change.
Warriors is released in UK cinemas on 13 November.
|What||Warriors film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
13 Nov 15 – 31 Dec 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to go to the Warriors film site|