2010 Running time: 88 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3

Synopsis

Three Rwandan kids decide to walk 3,000 miles to the World Cup in South Africa... but end up trapped in war-torn Congo. Using just their wits (and a dog-eared wall chart) they resume their journey, picking up a former child soldier and a teenage sex worker along the way. Sheer, good-hearted bravado and an ebullient amateur young cast drive along a colourful road trip that's not afraid to tackle serious issues including Aids and prostitution.

Director

  • Debs Gardner-Paterson

Cast

  • Roger Nsengiyumva

  • Sherrie Silver

  • Eriya Ndayambaje

  • Sanyu Joanita Kintu

Review

One of the best decisions taken by the makers of this likeable kids' adventure was to drop the original title.

Somehow Condom Boy Goes To The World Cup doesn't quite convey the themes of friendship, loyalty and optimism that this exuberant road trip celebrates.

It kicks off with Rwandan middle-class footballing prodigy Fabrice (Nsengiyumva) spotted by an official for the South African World Cup and invited to a footballing ceremony in Kigali.

However, thanks to Fabrice's bumptious, pint-sized manager Dudu (Ndayambaje) the pair of them - plus Dudu's sweet-natured sister - wind up in a refugee camp in the Congo after getting the wrong bus.

Helped by taciturn teenager Foreman George (Dusenge), they manage to escape...but are pursued by the thuggish Tulu (Jal), who wants to recruit the boys into the rebel army.

As they slowly make their way to Johannesburg through Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia, they have to cajole and trick their passage aboard trucks, carts and even a rusting hulk of a ferry.

As they get nearer their goal we learn that George was once a merciless child soldier and Celeste (Silver) - who they rescue from a white country club - was forced into teenage prostitution.

Although this plays out like a no-budget Children's Film Foundation version of Slumdog Millionaire, you can't help but be moved by the enthusiasm and vim the young, inexperienced cast bring to the story.

Grown-up issues such as Aids and child prostitution are frankly dealt with and even if the narrative winds up at a predictable destination it's been a journey well worth making.

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