By Bethsheba Achitsa
Published May 24, 2011
The limit to which cinema can be employed on world issues is endless. Did you know that not only can filmmakers impress with their clever story-telling techniques but they also have the ability of making the audiences laugh even at the worst of times?
Welcome to LE MAILLOT DE CRISTIANO (Cristiano’s Shirt), a 17-minute film by Belgian Vincent Bruno that pokes fun at the ongoing world economic crunch that has rendered thousands jobless, homeless and hopeless.
Two 11-year-old boys set the pace by running after a train in this humorous and fun-filled film that is being considered for the Golden Mboni Award for the best children’s film at the 6th Lola Kenya Screen in Nairobi, Kenya (August 8-13, 2011). As if aware of what might be going through the minds of the audience, they slow down to explain why they are running. But their explanation carries one to the football pitch where the boys appear to be fighting for survival on the football pitch where the team they are playing against is hitting the back of their net every now and then. Are they late for football practice or have they missed an important match? This scene opens the story as an artistic portrayal of the various types of crises that individuals are bound to face in their lives.
At the backdrop of such hard times the lure to spend lavishly on unnecessary things is inevitable especially among young people who despite the reality are bound to show off and pretend that all is fine through expensive status symbols like designer clothes, cellphones and various other fads that put them head and shoulders above their peers. The main characters in the film”Tom and Ptit Lu”represent this kind of individuals. Being ardent football fans, they look up to Christiano Ronaldo, a respected footballer of the 19-time English premier league champions Manchester United.
Being the only ones who support him from their club, the two boys are excited when Christiano wins the Ball d’Or. This win means too much for them and despite their lack of finances to buy a T-shirt featuring their icon at a whopping 89 Euros, they sell off whatever valuables they can lay their hands on in order to buy the Ronaldo shirt in order to show off to their friends.
They are over the moon showing off the Critiano Ronaldo/Manchester United T-shirt they have just acquired when the unexpected happens: Ronaldo transfers to Real Madrid and their hard-earned T-shirts become both worthless and irrelevant. Not only do they feel betrayed but Tom has to find a way to get back his father’s football that he sold to buy the T-shirt. Being ardent fans of Christiano Ronaldo’s, they also plan to purchase Real Madrid’s T-Shirt. But they must first ensure that Christiano will not transfer to a new team. Will Christiano stay at Real Madrid.