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Playing Away. 1986. Great Britain. Directed by Horace Ové. 100 min.
Ové’s wry satire (originally produced for Channel 4) is set in an affluent, seemingly idyllic village in Suffolk during its “Third World Week” celebration. The village’s residents decide to cap the festivities off by inviting a West Indian cricket team from Brixton to come and play a charity match against the local side. Suffice it to say, their best-laid plans are thwarted to hilarious effect, as the Trinidadian Ové brilliantly paints the absurd, at-times clumsy ways in which disparate communities attempt to overcome their cultural differences. Buoyed by an exceptional ensemble cast, Playing Away is a thoroughly entertaining sendup of cultural mores and an incisively political examination of the state of multiculturalism in mid-1980s Britain.
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