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20 December 2022: 7:30 pm£7.00
2022 – Certificate 12A
– Blind Ambition –
This heart-warming and informative documentary inevitably feels like the “Cool Runnings” of the wine tasting world.
Directors Warwick Ross and Robert Coe, having made the 2013 documentary film about the Bordeaux wine industry (Red Obsession), were told in 2017 by wine guru Jancis Robinson of four smart and personable Zimbabweans who had arrived in South Africa after the 2008 Zimbabwe monetary crisis and were now sommeliers working in the best Cape Town restaurants. Robinson masterminded crowd funding for the four to compete as Team Zimbabwe in the exclusive, mostly posh and mostly white, 2017 World Wine Blind Tasting Championships held in France.
The film records their earnest preparations for the competition interspersed with the narrative of their painful personal histories and sometimes harrowing escapes from Zimbabwe. An element of comedy is introduced when they are introduced to their coach, the eccentric and formerly highly regarded French wine taster, Dennis Garret but much of this film concerns the importance of one’s origins, and the four men – who as traumatised immigrants found their calling in the unlikeliest of circumstances – are often haunted by what they’ve left behind..
Running Time 97 mins
Ratings Info Four Star
Director(s) Warwick Ross & Robert Coe
Cast includes Joseph Dhafana, Marlvin Gwese, Tinashe Nyamudoka and Pardon Taguzu as themselves
Nominations & Awards Two wins from two nomination (so far!)
A fine vintage: four refugees become world-class sommeliers………Well-balanced documentary of four young men who escaped Zimbabwe’s crisis of 2008 to become entrants in France’s World Blind Wine Tasting Championships
It’s impossible not to smile along with this feelgood documentary about four Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa who got jobs in restaurants, discovered in themselves a brilliant talent for wine-tasting and in 2017 were brought together as the exiled team Zimbabwe for the World Blind Wine Tasting Championships in France
Few feelings match the exhilaration of watching four underdogs, hailing from difficult circumstances, coming together to achieve a goal once thought unimaginable. ………….. But Robert Coe and Warwick Ross’s “Blind Ambition,” an inspirational, heart-wrenching tale about four Zimbabwean immigrants working in South Africa as sommeliers is different. It doesn’t deal in easy gags or low-hanging speeches. It understands both the thrill and the agony of desperately waiting for your dream to ripen on the vine.
The power of the movie ………..is that it delivers moving and sombre accounts of the men’s biographies, their near-death experiences when fleeing Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and their aching sense of rootlessness in a country that continues to see them as “other”………this is the soul of the documentary and why it is buttressed by ravishing drone shots of the Zimbabwean countryside, like an abandoned paradise yet to be re-entered.
The Financial Times
Each member of this particular team have similar stories to tell of desperation back in “Zim”, as they call their homeland, and strength found in family support and religious faith. You couldn’t pick a more wholesome, handsome, audience-friendly quartet
How to book
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