by Uberto Pasolini

What the fuck is handball?

Manoj and Stanley console themselves after their latest visa application is rejected. For barman Manoj, the recurrent denial of his ultimate dream to live and work in the beautiful West is taking a serious toll, his lifelong friend, street fruit seller Stanley, is losing his fight against overwhelming debt, looking after crazy aunts and a young brother on his way to a life of crime.With their spirits dashed the chance discovery of an invitation to a handball tournament in Bavaria appears to them like a present from the Gods. Even if neither of them knows what handball is, they submit an application to the tournament and soon a mismatched collection of friends and colleagues, creditors and policemen, join together in the unlikely Sri Lanka National Handball Team. With little thought to the tournament that awaits them on the other side of the world, "training sessions" are understandably minimalist and any excess energy ploughed into internal skirmishing. As the tournament invitation arrives, handball rules and regulations are side-lined; dreams of leaving poverty behind and a better life take centre stage as they march to the German Embassy for that magical visa ?Rejected again! Who the hell mentioned Ministry letters? Why should you need permission from your own government if you've had an invitation from another? Does this mean the end of the dream? There's always master forger and all-round crook Ruan of course, but you'd have to seriously be scraping the barrel to go to him for help. The team, now swollen to capacity with the inclusion of a bunch of stranded foreigners, finally gets its much agonised visa and, after painful goodbyes to families and friends, is on the way to the West and a bright future.The planned quick getaway on arrival is crushed by the welcoming organisers and a change of schedule sees them confronted by an arena full of sport fans eager to applaud the prowess of the Sri Lanka National Handball Team. 70-0. And now? Do they run before the inevitable arrest and an inglorious return home? Or should they fight on to defend personal and national pride at the cost of risking the end of their dream?

Genre / Language / Length
Comedy / Sinhalese / 109 minutes
Original title
directed by
produced by
A Redwave Film produced by Studio Urania, Babelsberg Film, Shakathi Films
  • Dharmapriya Dias
  • Gihan de Chickera
  • Dharshan Dharmaraj
  • Namal Jayasinghe
  • Sujeewa Priyalal