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  • 12A
  • Family
  • 2010

Africa United

Africa United

Synopsis

Three football-mad kids hitchhike from Rwanda to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup in this well-meaning if uneven road movie.

About

The high-minded ideals and winsome innocence of the Children's Film Foundation have long been consigned to the annals of British cinema history. Watching this upbeat tale of an unlikely journey down the spine of Africa, though, it's almost as if it never went away.

When gifted soccer prodigy Fabrice is invited to perform at the opening ceremony of this summer's World Cup football tournament, he entrusts the minutiae of the trip to his self-appointed manager Dudu. Unfortunately his good-natured mate accidentally boards them on a bus to the Congo, the first of many missteps on an odyssey that sees them encounter a child soldier, a runaway sex worker and more than one apparently impassable obstacle.

References to the AIDS pandemic and the Rwandan genocide seem a little dark given the feel-good context. If you're not rooting for Eriya Ndayambaje's perma-grinning Dudu by the end, though, you deserve a red card.

Cast & Connections

  • Director: Debs Gardner-Paterson

In a nutshell

Joyous and celebratory if a touch naïve, Debs Gardner-Paterson's film has enough charm, colour and humour to win us over by extra time.

by Neil Smith

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