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"Imagine if Jacques Audiard had tried to make an inspirational sports movie, and you'll get an idea of what it's like to watch Mercenary ... an impressively fierce debut feature." – Hollywood Reporter

Filmmaker Sacha Wolff shifts gears from documentary to fiction in this striking, compassionate tale of a young man's ambition to succeed in a sport that forces him to break bonds and bridge cultural divides.

Soane (Toki Pilioko) is an ambitious young Polynesian man of Wallisian origin who leaves everything behind – including an imposing and sadistic father – to try his hand at professional rugby in France. But when the club cancels his contract after a misunderstanding about his weight, Soane stoically takes a turn into new territory where there is an unavoidable price for success and the violence he had hoped to escape looks likely to follow him.

Juxtaposing the tropical island landscapes of Soane's New Caledonia home with the French provinces, Mercenary features outstandingly authentic performances from a largely non-professional cast. Combined with an entrancing score that underlines the importance of music and spirituality to the Wallisian people, the film presents an unvarnished gaze into the world of an outsider and his desperate search for fulfilment.

"For once, a movie demonstrates the insight and sensitivity to look past [a] rough-and-tumble exterior to discover the conflicted soul within." – Variety