To mark the conclusion of their "Third World Week" celebration,
a cricket team in a small English village invites a West Indian
cricket team from South London to a charity game.
Not surprisingly, there's wariness on both sides. But
Willie Boy (Norman Beaton), the proud, wryly philosophical captain
of the Conquistadors, is intent on accepting the invitation.
Meanwhile, the captain of the Sneddington Cricket Club, the
innocent but overweeningly self-satisfied Derek (Nicholas Farell),
is confident of a handy Sunday afternoon victory.
Obviously, the possibilities, both comic and serious, in this
cultural exchange are endless, and the filmmakers seem not to
have missed any of them. But, for all the film's abundant humor,
Ove, said to be Britain's first black film maker, and the Oxford-educated
Phillips, never let us forget that racial tensions lurk beneath
the occasion's sure of good will. In the end, Playing Aways
pleasures are subtle and genuine. - Los Angeles Times
35mm rental: $250
DVD sale: $195