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Team, The

2011hotdocstheteam.jpg
4 STARS
Patrick Reed (Canada, World Showcase)

Screenings:
Sunday, May 1, 7 p.m.
Royal Cinema (608 College Street)
Saturday, May 7, 6:45 p.m.
ROM Theatre (100 Queen’s Park)
Sunday, May 8, 7 p.m.
Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Avenue)


In a country where inter-tribal tensions are at an all time high, a co-ed and ethnically diverse soccer team must overcome their personal and cultural differences to lead Kenya to victory.
This isn’t the plot of The Team, but rather a Kenyan soap opera by the same name which the documentary follows. Following the electoral riots of 2007—a violent period considered one of Kenya’s darkest—a team of producers set out to mend the wounds and prevent recurrences by appealing to the youngest generation’s twin obsessions of soccer and television. Drawing actors from the 70+ tribes and vastly diverse social and economic areas in the country, the serial tackles the daunting goal of diffusing inter-ethnic tensions and promoting empathy in a society on the brink of civil war.
Director Patrick Reed subtly focuses on the microcosmic world that is not only the scripted plot of the soap opera but the clashing personalities of its amateur performers, many of whose lives run dangerously parallel to those of their characters. Part behind-the-scenes DVD easter egg and part deconstruction of Kenyan society, The Team is a clever exploration of the power of using popular media for social change.

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