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In a rural New Zealand town, a knock-about rugby team – made up of salt-of-the-earth dairy farmers – is staring down the barrel of a long run of bitter losses. With pluck and determination, the men unite to inspire their small community.
The life of a farmer is a hard one. In the face of the hefty demands of farming and fatherhood, the Saturday rugby becomes the focus of the men’s passions; the ground on which their worth is proved. Alternatively heartwarming and heartbreaking, melancholy and hilariously funny, “The Ground We Won” captures a fascinating season of traditions, debauchery and friendship, as the men reclaim their faith in themselves.
Director Christopher Pryor shot the documentary in ravishing black and white, accentuating the beauty of New Zealand’s landscape, and the strange beauty of the game itself. “The Ground We Won” tells a compelling story of manhood, and the way rituals are passed from generation to generation.
In the words of critic Paul Byrnes, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, “The game [rugby] has produced little of greatness in cinema. Until now.”