Robert Coe and Warwick Ross have developed a documentary that not only looks at the situation faced by many in South Africa concerning black immigration to other nations within this continent, but also shows “Blind Ambition” should set no one back.
Here, it’s about whether four Zimbabwean immigrants can succeed as business people in a very demanding restaurant industry. Here, the focus is on wine. And what Joseph, Tinashe, Pardon, and Marlvin have to learn is if they got the right stuff. They want to enter the 2017 World Blind Wine Tasting Championship and because of the economic situation, they had huge obstacles to face if they were to fly to Burgundy, France, where it was being hosted.
This film focuses on four individuals wanting a better prospect for not only themselves, but the family they’re taking along. What they left behind is important, and the examination is more than dutiful to let us understand what goes on a world away. Back home in Zimbabwe was civil unrest, and unless we understand this social-policital background tableau, what viewers won’t learn aren’t as relatable.
“Blind Ambition” delves into what makes champions truly that. It’s not always about winning these competitions, but how they can make individuals feel like they can succeed with other endeavours down the road.
But this work is an intimate journey to which everyone can learn from. Each of these individuals gave up everything when they left “home,” and as for that home away from, will they be accepted? And to witness how they’ve come together is important. That’s because they want to show that the love for wine and tasting it in a competitive sense is not a white man’s sport. Becoming sommeliers is difficult, and to see how they do it makes up one-quarter of this film.
The other part examines what “Kumusha”–a shona word for home–means. In what the four men reveal makes this movie very emotional and heartfelt.
After production wrapped for this documentary, I had wondered what would be next. Thankfully, we have a follow up. The team hasn’t broken up. Although they went their separate ways to pursue other endeavours. One individual even gone on to develop his own wine label! But as time passed, they returned to compete again. As for whether they’ve won, I shan’t say. The fact South Africa has its own contest shows just how much they’ve done to make the world a much happier place.
5 Blokes out of 5
Playing at The Vic Theatre
Oct 19, 2022 5:30pm (tickets)
808 Douglas St, Victoria BC