Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Rugby Story (2019) Dances with Films 2019

A Rugby Story is frequently a moving film. It is the story of four coaches for Rugby 2018, a for profit company that is training and running rugby leagues in Benghazi Libya. They are also funding the efforts to put a national team together for the Rugby World Cup. While that might not sound like much consider the country and the city was torn apart by a civil war for the time covered in the film.

An amazing tale of humanity’s ability to cope and deal with terrible circumstances it moves us on a deep level. If you’ve ever wondered why sports are so important or why countries shut down during some sporting events, this film will provide the answer, perhaps not in so many words but in the faces and discussions of the men who play and who have escaped reality for a little while.

As good as the story is the film itself has some problems, largely owing to its almost two hour run time. As good as the central story is the film could use some tightening. Some of the rugby sequences could be trimmed since some seem to be acting as bridge. I understand what it is doing, but after a while it just becomes guys running around it doesn’t mean anything.(Full disclosure I think part of my problem is a result of how the sequences were filmed, single camera point and shoot. While I understand that it is pure the result of how the circumstances, it was in a war zone, with filming, the sameness flattens the excitement level. I completely forgive the way it was shot, I just wish it was slightly better integrated)

Actually the more interesting stuff is the life of the coaches away from the field. Watching the guys go through their paces and talk about their lives kept me watching even as my interest in the rugby faded.

My reservations aside A Rugby Story is worth seeing for those interested in seeing a story about struggling to remain human in war time and beyond.

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