A ferocious wind whipping up the fire around which eight men are seated. They are about to cook up some lamb and drink a few beers. It is night, somewhere in the countryside, out at sea a storm is brewing, the fire will provide warmth, the fire will cook the food, the men will sit around the fire until the small hours of the morning when the boxing match will begin, they’ll need to drink and talk until then, whilst stoking the fire and cooking the meat and showing their expertise with all things outdoors.

Out of the darkness English is being spoken in many inflections. There are glimpses of hands and eyes and movement, all eyes are on the fire, everyone’s hungry but they must wait, they must drink Cisk lager and talk:
we can organise a friendly
advance
left hand side
german shepherds
will eat you
kill bacteria
butter potato
plane crashes
twice
dictator
Macedonia
once
burnt foil
Brixton
salt
more salt
grandmother
ants
ricky hatton
elephant shit
stone roses
you’re still my idol.

There is silence, laughter, singing, tension, awkwardness, wit, hunger, thirst, misunderstandings, understandings, there is psychobabble, attempts to bridge gaping chasms, clumsy political referencing and epic story telling. Who these men are and why they are gathered here is never made explicit, no one asks any direct questions and each one of them speaks in his own parables, though it is quickly understood that some of the men are of European extraction, whilst others are men who were born and raised in Africa but are no longer living there. Is this how we communicate? Are we always so clumsy yet so endearing in our attempts to smash artifice and create the possibility for honest connections? It is the European men who feel the pressure to talk after long silences, they are a little maladroit but in their initiative they are winsome too, and so the lamb and potatoes are eaten and the wind continues to blow as we listen to tales from Congo and Serbia, Brixton and Sudan being exchanged on the island of Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean sea.
(Emma Mattei)

DIRECTED BY
MARK MANGION

CINEMATOGRAPHY
MARK MANGION

EDITING
MARK MANGION

PRODUCTION
MARK MANGION

CAST
HAKIM BABANGIDA
JON BANTHORPE
JOSHUA DE GIORGIO
JULIAN MCEWEN
IBRAHIM MUSAH
ERIC NYANDU
JOHN UDO
SLAVKO VUKANOVIC

THANKS
HAKIM BABANGIDA
JON BANTHORPE
JOSHUA DE GIORGIO
JULIAN MCEWEN
IBRAHIM MUSAH
ERIC NYANDU
JOHN UDO
SLAVKO VUKANOVIC

FILMED
ON LOCATION IN MALTA

DURATION
2:02:00

FORMAT
16.9
DV VIDEO
COLOUR

DATE
(2007)

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