Previously at the ICA - Films
6 Jul 2012 – 19 Aug 2012
The World Over-80s Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia provides the unlikely stage for a wonderfully touching treatise on old age in this novel documentary. The film follows eight spritely pensioners from across the world both at home and at the competition, each of them with a story to tell—from 84 year-old Terry who’s been given a week to live, to 99 year-old Australian Dorothy, for whom ping pong is a welcome distraction from the loss of her husband.
There’s no lack of competitive fibre or skill amongst the octogenarian athletes, and the contest is spirited and entertaining. But what is ostensibly an eccentric sports film also, perhaps surprisingly, provides occasion for poignant reflections upon health, upon attitudes toward the elderly, upon the experience of growing old, and upon mortality itself. Charming, thoughtful and uplifting, Ping Pong is an unexpected treat.
Dir. Hugh Hartford, 2012, UK, English/German/Mandarin/Japanese with English subtitles, 76 mins.