Blind Ambition

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BBFC Ratingf-rated FilmBlind Ambition

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Director(s) Robert Coe, Warwick Ross
Writer(s)Robert Coe, Paul Murphy, Madeleine Ross
LanguageEnglish, Shona, French
Running Time1HR 36MINS
SeasonMain Programme

This immensely enjoyable documentary profiles the unique lives of four sommeliers as they travel to France to enter the World Wine Tasting Championship.

Joseph, Marlvin, Pardon and Tinashe are refugees who escaped violence in Zimbabwe to build new lives in neighbouring South Africa. Each of them struggled in the new country, facing prejudice and economic hardship as they supported their families. Finding jobs as waiters, each soon discovered a taste for the complex subtleties of wine. They all committed themselves to the art and ascended to the rank of sommelier, and after meeting each other, they decided to form a team to enter the Olympics of the winetasting world in France.

Warwick Ross and Robert Coe’s corker of a film charts Joseph, Marlvin, Pardon and Tinashe’s lives through interviews with the men and their families. The dangers each faced make their journey to France all the more extraordinary. No less moving is the team’s pride in their Zimbabwean roots, representing their country on the world stage and offering a different perspective on a country torn apart by conflict.

The affection the men also show for each other is palpable, while one of their coaches, Denis Garret, adds hilarity to this buoyant, uplifting film. And for an activity as sedate as winetasting, Ross and Coe draw out a surprising amount of suspense as they chart the team's journey through each stage of the competition.

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