New Zealand, 2015 (MIFF 2015, This Sporting Life)

Director: Christopher Pryor

Stunningly gorgeous, this is a funny, against-type tour through grassroots rugby union that offers a fresh look at both sport and manhood.

Setting up in the New Zealand town of Reporoa, self-confessed "rugby outsiders" Christopher Pryor and Miriam Smith spent almost a year ingratiating themselves into the lives of the farmers who make up the local team. As they deal with the rebound from a string of losses, Peanut, Slug, Broomy, Battleship and others are touchingly candid about their other struggles – with the responsibilities of parenthood, manhood, identity and obligations to the family farm.

Breathtakingly shot in black and white and accompanied by a classically inclined score, The Ground We Won is an unexpected and searing but humorous examination of sports culture machismo that offers plenty for enthusiasts of the game, cineastes and "rugby outsiders" in equal measure.

"A visually ravishing record … of a very Kiwi slice of life that mixes the poetic with the prosaic, the everyday with the quasi-mythological and introduces us to a memorable cast of characters." – NZ Herald

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