Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works Interview: In 'Güeros' Dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios Rediscovered Mexico City Via a Unique Road Trip Interview: In 'Güeros' Dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios Rediscovered Mexico City Via a Unique Road Trip Film London Presents Two Finance Markets Film London Presents Two Finance Markets Cannes: Inspiration & Determination From A Short Film Corner Participant Cannes: Inspiration & Determination From A Short Film Corner Participant Cannes 2015: Salma Hayek, Empowering Women In Film Cannes 2015: Salma Hayek, Empowering Women In Film Cannes '15: SCAD Alumni Premiere Oscar de la Renta Exhibition Film at Cannes Cannes '15: SCAD Alumni Premiere Oscar de la Renta Exhibition Film at Cannes Cannes '15: Thailand Film Office Predicts 2015 Will Be a Record-Breaking Year for Incoming Productions Cannes '15: Thailand Film Office Predicts 2015 Will Be a Record-Breaking Year for Incoming Productions Cannes '15: KMI Announces Jeremy Irons, Virginia Madsen, AnnaSophia Robb in 'Monumental' Cannes '15: KMI Announces Jeremy Irons, Virginia Madsen, AnnaSophia Robb in 'Monumental' Cannes ISA of the Day: Jan Naszewski of New Europe Film Sales Cannes ISA of the Day: Jan Naszewski of New Europe Film Sales Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards In Conversation with Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, at the 2015 Marché du Film In Conversation with Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, at the 2015 Marché du Film The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Program Sets Record Enrollment at Cannes The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Program Sets Record Enrollment at Cannes  Oberhausen International Short Film Festival Oberhausen International Short Film Festival LatinoBuzz: 'La Tierra y la Sombra'  (Land and Shade) selected for Cannes' Critics Week LatinoBuzz: 'La Tierra y la Sombra' (Land and Shade) selected for Cannes' Critics Week LatinoBuzz: Interview with Elvis Nolasco from ABC's 'American Crime' LatinoBuzz: Interview with Elvis Nolasco from ABC's 'American Crime' INTERVIEW: Director of Quiet Riot Documentary Regina Russell & Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot INTERVIEW: Director of Quiet Riot Documentary Regina Russell & Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot Review: Wild in Blue Review: Wild in Blue Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'

Mirra Bank's Wonderful Documentary 'The Only Real Game'

Photo of Peter Belsito By Peter Belsito | SydneysBuzz June 17, 2014 at 8:00AM

"The Only Real Game" will have a one week run from June 20-26, 2014 at the Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills, CA
0
The Only Real Game
The Only Real Game

The recent Disney film "Million Dollar Arm" dealt with the real life story of a sports agent who decides to find talented kids in India to turn them into financially successful baseball stars. On the other hand, in Mirra Bank's documentary "The Only Real Game," the  quintessential American pastime in Manipur, northeastern India, represents hope. The game represents an escape from poverty, civil war, drug trafficking, and HIV/AIDS.

"The Only Real Game" will have a one week run from June 20-26, 2014 at the Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills, CA

Here is what some renowned outlets had to say about the film

The Village Voice

By Daphne Howland

In "The Only Real Game," Mirra Bank shines a spotlight onto a nearly forgotten place, Manipur, a poor and war-torn state under martial law in northeast India.

In an area of the world where soccer and cricket reign, Manipuris were first captivated by baseball in the 1940s, as played by the American pilots who used their kingdom as a strategic spot to stock and launch their planes, and they remain amazingly dedicated to it.

This film contains just enough facts, figures, and footage to give us Manipur’s history and a vivid picture of its current dire situation. But Bank’s story of the women, men, and children so passionate about their game is itself wholly absorbing. The women, in particular, are especially ardent about baseball, as skilled at this game as they are at protecting their children and themselves from disease and insurgent soldier-thugs.

A bunch of American baseball fans get wind of the makeshift innings being played there and raise enough money to bring in regulation balls and bats, and, best of all, gung-ho Major League Baseball coaches.

Sometimes the Manipuris put too much stock in baseball, like so many dirt-poor dreamers do; there’s a lot of heartache. But mostly, they play for love, and this film is like another work in the canon of baseball poetry.

New York Post

By Reed Tucker

While Jon Hamm is busy looking for Indian baseball players in “Million Dollar Arm,” filmmaker Mirra Bank has already found them.

They’re in Manipur, a remote state in northeast India.

As the new documentary “The Only Real Game” details, American baseball has taken hold in this small area of a country that’s largely dominated by cricket.

Despite Babe Ruth calling baseball “the only real game in the world,” it doesn’t exactly blanket the globe. The sport was likely introduced in Manipur by American soldiers stationed there during World War II. Today, the state’s capital city, Imphal, has more than 20 clubs.

“It gives people a sense of joy and solace and relief that’s very powerful,” Bank says. And Manipur is a region in need of relief.

For centuries, it remained an independent kingdom before finally being folded into India in 1949. Many residents still desire independence, and a violent civil war has been raging since the 1980s.

“This is such a staunch and amazing people under ridiculous forms of government that rise up somehow because of the human spirit,” says Melissa Leo, the Oscar-winning actress who narrates the documentary. “It’s remarkable that when people are oppressed, if there’s the tiniest escape hatch, a crack — even the simple, funny old game of baseball — people will slip through that crack.”

One organization that’s well aware of what’s going on in Manipur is Major League Baseball. It’s sent coaches and set up camps to further the sport’s programs. As Hamm discovered in “Million Dollar Arm,” India is too big a potential market to ignore.


This article is related to: The Only Real Game , Mirra Bank , Million Dollar Arm , Documentary, Baseball , India, International Film Market, International Film Festival, International Sales Agent, International, International Film Business

E-Mail Updates