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Documentary on children who escape poverty through baseball gets rave reviews

作者:admin 2020-12-15

Documentary on children who escape poverty through baseball gets rave reviews  第1张

One poster of Touch Out Photo: Courtesy of iQIYI


Since it hit Chinese mainland cinemas on Friday, Chinese sports documentary Touch Out has been getting rave reviews and high marks from audiences with its story about a group of young boys from poor families who are able to change their lives through baseball.

The documentary has an 8.7/10 from more than 15,000 reviews on Chinese media review platform Douban, putting it ahead of all its cinema competitors, both domestic and imported.

The film focuses on a baseball training base in Beijing called Power Baseball, a nongovernmental public benefit project for poor children launched by Sun Lingfeng, former captain of the Chinese national baseball team. At the base, more than 20 boys from impoverished families live and train together. 

Two of these children, Ma Hu and Liang Zhengshuang, are at the center of the story. They are both from rural areas in China and have similar experiences and backgrounds. Their fortunes begin to change after they are recruited by the base at around the age of 9.

Through the sport of baseball, these children's world expands beyond their village to other provinces around China and even other countries around the world. 


Documentary on children who escape poverty through baseball gets rave reviews  第2张

A baseball player of an elementary school team in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu Province, prepares to swing away. Photo: VCG


For instance, one part of the movie covers the time they got the chance to compete with children from other countries after flying to the US in 2018 as part of a sponsorship program to play a U11 game. Since four major regulars are over 11 and so too old to play, the coach allows his newest rookies, who had only been training for three months, to take the field. Unfortunately, Liang, the most expected among them, suffers a shoulder injury before the game.

During the game, Liang looks around helplessly, and then collapses in tears after he learns that he won't be able to play. When Ma comforts him, Liang shouts in a hoarse voice that he knows this may be his only chance to play overseas, a sight that moved many who watched the film to tears themselves. 

Feng, a moviegoer living in Beijing, said she was deeply touched by the story. She told the Global Times on Monday that the movie depicts the team's numerous setbacks, but is also full of hope as these young boys are still growing and their futures are full of possibilities.

"I know they are just a tiny part of the many stay-at-home and poor children in China, and that there are still huge amounts of children wrestling with poverty and other troubles, but I am glad to see that things have changed for them," Feng said.

Film critics have called the film significant for taking on an uncommon topic in China and covering the social issue of impoverished children. Others have noted that the documentary's cinematography is brilliant and the pacing is even more dramatic than some feature films. 

Three children from the base including Ma attended the film's premiere on November 27. Healthy and strong, they emphasized that they hope to become professional baseball players in the future.

The founder of the base said at the premiere that in addition to expanding the boys' team from 20 to 70 members, they are also recruiting members to build a girls' team at the base.
Newspaper headline: Hitting a Homerun


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