It is an effort to spread the word of female genital mutilation (FGM), the spread of HIV/Aids, marrying off girls in childhood and the negative impact these have on possibilities for learning and education that the warriors embark on a remarkable journey against the odds. Paying tribute to the visual lyricism of a culture in which the passing down of stories from one generation to the next is of the utmost significance Douglas uses a number of richly coloured, pencil-drawn animations throughout. Montage sequences delight in the joy the team has in discovering a new true love and frames their wide-eyed awe as they step out onto the hallowed turf of Lords at the 'Last Man Stands' tournament which brings together eight-man amateur teams from all over the world. Observed as much as they observe on the tube, London Eye and outside Buckingham Palace, our subjects undertake all challenges with a smile and are likeable and inspiring interview subjects.
An eclectic score mixes music from the likes of Noel Gallagher, which compliments the mysticism and serious nature of certain elements, combined with bouncing, vibrant jazz and funk for training sessions and larking about. A proud parent cites a simple but profound Maasai saying when speaking of his son's achievements: "The eye that has travelled sees further." Imbued with a confidence and courage garnered from their travels, the warriors return to Kenya with their eyes opened and the will of lions in their hearts. Over-enthusiastic commentators may liken the actions of top of the order batsmen at a five day test match to that of warriors but the men in Douglas' film are the real deal. They don't just like cricket - they love it - and their broad smiles, infectious enthusiasm and heartfelt championing of vital issues are sure to bowl audiences over.
Matthew Anderson | @behind_theseens