Hugh Hartford (director)
06 July 2012 (released)
28 June 2012
Great news, the feel good cinema event of the year arrives in this country on the 6th of July, Put down your 3d specs, and sit back and brace yourself to have all preconceptions about sport, old people and ping pong turned on their head. That’s the feeling you get when you watch this funny, moving geriatric filled film.
The makers of this film had an ambition…to use Ping-Pong to bridge the generation gap between the old and young. The first thing I wanted to do when I left the cinema was a) cuddle old people and b) start playing Ping Pong with them, so mission accomplished.
The film follows 8 Ping Pong champions between the ages of 80 and 100, yes a 100!, who played in the Chinese Ping Pong Finals. Each of the eight has as much character and panache as the last and if they are slightly doddery when making a cuppa there’s no sign of it on the court. These geriatrics have a serious forearm. When asked to comment on her game one 89 year old said “Young people are shitting themselves” Iene from Sweden, a personal fave. But you’ll have your own favorite, maybe Terry who has had cancer in almost every part of his body but that doesn’t stop him playing some serious game. There is still the blood sweat and tears that takes place in most sports and the documentary addresses the problems of growing old but all the characters are inspirational and they take no prisoners and have no qualms in talking tough
Sports documentaries whilst growing in popularity are still a niche market but this film will appeal to so many on so many different levels, you are literally on the edge of your seat for the semi finals and by finals you can could barely contain yourself. This film is fantastically shot with some incredible music and a cast of characters that no script writer could come up with. 10 out of 10, an absolute joy from start to finish. Watch it, then tell all your friends and family to watch it. Then go and get a ping pong set.
Brilliant and deserves to be the hit of the year 10 stars is not enough for this.
Ping Pong is in cinemas 6th July and screens at the East end Film Festival and is part of the Cultural Olympiad this summer.
For further details on the East End Film festival please go to www.eastendfilmfestival.com