Shanghai TV Festival 2008 : Best Social Documentary Award
Austin Film Festival 2008 : Documentary Feature Winner
Torino Film Festival 2008 : Premio Avanti!
"Les Ninjas du Japon" (73 minutes) is about a team of Japanese cyclists in Africa, in much the same way that the Tour de France is about sightseeing in the Alps and Pyrenees while tooling around on a bike. From the film's opening shot, writer/director/cinematographer Giommi is far more interested in what happens in the foreground and behind the action at the Tour du Faso as opposed to the race itself. With inspired assistance from cinematographer Bruno Pappalettera and editor Fabio Capalbo, Giommi explores cultural disparities and meeting points when a semipro cycling team from Asia enters the 20th edition of Africa's largest bicycle stage race. Through a series of arresting miniaturist images, Giommi uncovers layers of meaning, political and human, in a sporting event that, though modest, draws competitors from around the world to one of the world's poorest and unstable nations.
BY JOHN DAVIDSON,
The Austin Chronical
FRI., OCT. 24, 2008