Skip to main content

MYSTIC BALL

USA / Canada, 2006 (MIFF 2006, Documentaries)

Director: Greg Hamilton

A chance encounter with an exotic cane ball led Greg Hamilton deep into the culture of Myanmar (Burma) via the unusual ancient sport of Chinlone, the subject of this warm-hearted docu-mentary. A single team activity with no opposing side, Chinlone is a unique blend of ball sport and dance, where the goal is not to win but to play as beautifully as possible.

Mystic Ball follows Hamilton over a period of 20 years as he takes up Chinlone as an awkward beginner, gradually progressing to become the first foreigner to play at the highest levels of the sport. For Hamilton, what begins as a challenging physical activity becomes something more meditative as he comes to appreciate a deeper mysticism behind the hypnotic sport. The determined Hamilton is soon appreciated and welcomed with open arms by locals and top level Chinlone players, which then enables him to offer a unique insider perspective on this fascinating country.

An intriguing look at a novel sport and the nation that follows it, Mystic Ball makes for uplifting and mesmerising viewing.

D Greg Hamilton P Matthew London, Greg Hamilton L English, Burmese w/English subtitles TD video/2006/83mins

Greg Hamilton was born in Manitoba, Canada, in 1953. Mystic Ball is his feature film directing debut.

MysticBall.jpg

See also...

ZIZEK!

“We can all come away comforted that in academia, as in poetry and science, adored ‘rock stars' can be old, paunchy, and less than beautiful.” - Village Voice ... Philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, is ... More »

BILLY THE KID

Jury Prize winner at the recent SXSW Film Festival, Billy the Kid is unquestionably one of the year's highlights of documentary filmmaking, destined to be a classic. Debut filmmaker Jennifer ... More »

PAPER CANNOT WRAP UP EMBERS

“While Panh's subjects don't shy away from discussing the sexual details of their work, the emphasis isn't on the sensational but on women whose lives have been ground into dust by their ... More »

HARDCORE CHAMBERMUSIC

Swiss musicians Koch-Schütz-Studer turn a 30-day music marathon into a cinematic piece of chamber music. Their album, Hardcore Chambermusic, is a music publishing phenomena that has taken ... More »

RETURN OF THE POET

The latest film from Armenia's greatest filmmaker, Harutyun Khachatryan, is a sublime portrait of the state of his country. Employing the figure of the 19th century national poet, Ashugh Jivani, to ... More »

DESCRIPTION OF A MEMORY

A journey to the recesses of photographed memory in Chris Marker's impressionistic film, Description of a Struggle, which won the Golden Bear at the 1961 Berlin Festival. ... In his 1960 film Marker ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director