From barefoot to the Oscars red carpet?

A Barefoot Dream

A Barefoot Dream

Timor-Leste is holding its breath until 25th January, the day the nominees for the Oscars will be announced in Hollywood.  With the help of the United Nations, Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century in 2002 after years of conflict with nearby Indonesia.
The new nation is the setting for “A Barefoot Dream”, a “feel-good” movie made by Korean director Kim Tae-kyun in 2008. The film captures the hearts of many with its “family” oriented recipe, featuring poverty and hopelessness at the beginning and glory and cheering at the end. UNMIT RADIO, Joyce De Pina reports from Timor-Leste.


film atmo:

De Pina: This movie is based on a true story of a once promising Korean footballer turned coach of a young group of Timorese barefoot soccer players. It follows the team from the streets of Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital, to an international soccer tournament in Hiroshima. The movie portraits the adventures of Park, a former professional soccer player who never saw his career takeoff. When he hangs his boots, he looks for a new life in Timor-Leste.
Once in Dili, he opens a sports gear shop, but the business doesn’t succeed and he is about to leave for Korea when he sees a group of very poor kids playing soccer.

It turns out to be an inspirational sight – Park decides to stay in Timor-Leste and coach the kids.

film atmo:

De Pina: “Barefoot Dream” is also the story of three Timorese kids blessed with talent to play soccer, but cursed by the context of a nation recovering from political turmoil. Their interpersonal relations and family issues play an important role in the movie.

film atmo:

De Pina: And the hero of the Timorese resistance, Xanana Gusmão, also takes part in the film, in a cameo, suffering and cheering with the boys during the final decisive match that ends in victory.

film atmo:

De Pina: Selected for the Oscar submission by the Korean Film Council from a pool of six films, “A Barefoot Dream” was not a consensual choice but might capture the attention of the jury.

film atmo:

De Pina : Almost 50 per cent of Timor-Leste’s population is less than 15 years old. The majority of these teenagers might not even be aware of the importance of this potential Oscar nomination. But the movie offers hope for many and might re-launch international interest in Timor-Leste, an independent state since 2002.

film atmo:

Duration: 2’31″

Filed under Today's Features.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
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