Opening 7 May 2009
Four years ago when BBC news reported the disappearance of the entire Sri Lanka national handball team from a competition in Germany, film producer Uberto Pasolini saw a story. "They even left their dirty laundry," said Mr. Doering of the German Sports Exchange Program. To understand what happened, Pasolini traveled to the slum areas of Colombo and spent weeks talking to people about their lives. From his research, he created 23 lives that became the 23 characters of this film.
This humorous film centers around Manoj, a barman, and Stanley, a fruit seller, who both believe they can rise out of poverty if they can make it to the West. After trying unsuccessfully to obtain visas from the German government, they find a flyer seeking handball teams to play in a tournament sponsored by the German Sports Exchange in Bavaria. They put together a team complete with trainer and manager, forge documents and start their journey West with visas granted for the competition in Germany. Humor is tempered with realities faced by illegal immigrants. As the games begin, you cannot help but cheer at their success at becoming a real team – and not necessarily for handball! (Mary Nyiri)