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As their country teeters on the brink of civil unrest, Kenyans scramble to produce a TV soap opera about a soccer team, hoping to bridge ethnic divisions. Can the lowliest of art forms achieve the loftiest of goals—real social change?

Kenya has long been considered Africa’s success story—relatively stable and ethnically harmonious. But, following the December 2007 Presidential election everything changed. A voting controversy split the country along ethnic lines, pushing Kenya to civil war. The international community intervened, a fragile peace was brokered, and a Truth and Reconciliation framework put in place. But as ethnic suspicion and violence continue to paralyze the country, many dismiss these actions as hollow political theatre.

An alternative local response is the creation of a taboo-breaking TV soap opera, “The Team,” following the struggles of a co-ed multi-ethnic soccer squad to overcome their differences, both on and off the pitch.

There’s inherent drama behind any TV production: will deadlines be met; will it be good? But here the stakes are exponentially higher: if you don’t captivate an audience, you risk further losing your country. “The Team” is an intense, character-driven documentary offering a unique look at youth culture and popular media, following characters on and off the set, exploring how lives are reflected in the soap, and vice-versa. What can a soap opera achieve in a place desperate for change but teetering on the brink? Watch and see.
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Film Credits

Directors: Patrick Reed

Producers: Peter Raymont, Kelly Jenkins, Patrick Reed

Photography: Chris Romeike

Editing: Michèle Hozer

Sound: Ao Loo

Music: Mark Korven

Production Company: White Pine Pictures

Details

UK Classification: None

Subtitles: Yes

Voiceover: No

Country:

Length: 80 min

Colour: Yes

Website: http://www.whitepinepictures.com/all-titles/the-team/

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The Team Screening:

  • Sat21May

    at The Horse Hospital

    21 May 2011 6:30 pm

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