FRANCE • DRAMA • 104 MINS • 2016 • MA 15+
Directed by: SACHA WOLFF
Starring: Toki Pilioko, Iliana Zabeth, Mikaele Tuugahala, Laurent Pakihivatau
Weighing 111kg and covered in tattoos, 19-year-old rugby-player Soane (Toki Pilioko) lives on the French Polynesian island of Wallis and Futuna in the shack of his brutal and dictatorial father. When he is unexpectedly offered a ticket to a new future with a rugby team far beyond his coastline, he seizes the opportunity with both hands, dreaming of the freedom and emancipation it will bring. However, upon arriving on the French mainland, over 15,000 kilometres away from everything he knows, he is handed the cruel blow that his contract is void.
Returning home is not an option, so, using tenuous family ties, Soane signs with a small, semi-professional club in France’s South-West where forced drug-doping, vicious matches and spiteful team managers will put his determination and spirituality to the ultimate test.
Unveiled to a glowing response in the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the non-professional Pilioko delivers an astonishing performance in a film which pairs raw human experience with expertly reconstructed and realistic rugby scenes resulting in an inspirational and satisfying tale of triumph over adversity.
French with English subtitles