A moving documentary, The Flying Stars, about an amputee soccer team, has been making waves across the world.
The Sierra Leone-based Salone Flying Stars team is made up of amputees who are survivors of the country’s decade-long civil war.
The movie is a collaboration between Canadian-based directors Allan Tong and Salone-born Ngardy Conteh George. The documentary became the “first project to win the Toronto International Film Festival’s Telefilm Canada Pitch This competition,” and it has since been screened around the world.
The movie documents the trauma and harsh realities amputees experience in Sierra Leone and how football has given this group of survivors the hope to carry on.
According to the documentary’s directors, amputees in Sierra Leone, “beg on the streets and suffer housing and job discrimination in a country that regards amputees as ugly reminders of that war,”
“Amputee football is one of the few ways for the amputees to band together and find solace. The ‘beautiful game’ heals, and at the very least it provides structure and routine to the amputees’ lives,” Al Jazeera quoted the filmmakers.
In September, The Flying Stars premiered on Al Jazeera’s observational documentary strand, and it was also screened in New York City and in Miami at the Women’s International Film Festival. In November, the documentary is set to be screened at the Bronze Lens Film Festival of Atlanta