2006, 83 min., doc
Passion suffuses every moment of Mystic Ball, an uplifting documentary about one man's physical and spiritual quest. The film resists easy categorization - it's simultaneously a thrilling sports movie, an insightful journey to a new world, and a lyrical personal story.
Mystic Ball follows Greg Hamilton, the filmmaker, deep into the ancient and little-known culture of Myanmar and its traditional sport, chinlone. Like the film, chinlone is hard to define. It's a team sport without an opposing team, part dance, part meditation. There is no competition, no winners and no losers. The game is back- breakingly difficult, yet is played by almost all Burmese, from young children to octogenarians.
The film follows Greg's transformation from outsider obsessed with learning chinlone to accomplished teammate of the masters of the game. Through chinlone, Greg discovers things he didn't even know he was looking for: family, community and love.
"Wonderfully crafted, Hamilton has made a film of striking visual imagery"
Molly's Lane, www.mollyslane.com
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