Written by Jon Berk
Directors: Robert Coe & Warwick Ross
Blind Ambition (2021) is a part of the Documentary Competition at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Directed by Robert Coe and Warwick Ross, the film follows the first-ever Zimbabwe team to compete in The World Wine Blind Tasting Championships—the Olympics of the wine world. It’s not just a film about sommeliers (which I found to be a very interesting topic on its own), but rather this film is a story about passion, and making the most of one’s experience.
The team consists of Joseph, Tinashe, Marlvin, and Pardon, each of which left Zimbabwe as a result of an extremely bad economic crisis. They didn’t know each other prior to leaving but became friends while living in South Africa over their new love of wine. Not the love of simply imbibing it and feeling the euphoria that intoxication can produce - but rather, the intricacies of the craft of winemaking.
The film does a terrific job showing each guy’s back story, their current situation, their passion for the art, and their goals for their future. Each of their stories is different, despite the connection of fleeing their home for better opportunities. What is also impressive about this movie is its ability to juggle so many things effectively without going long or shortchanging any of the important details. That is especially relevant with the competition and the training for it. The first coach they have isn’t able to be their official coach, but JV is integral to getting their team official and starting the preparation. Their second coach is infuriating - but I’ll leave that for you to discover in your home.
Blind Ambition is definitely a competitor in this competition. It’s compelling and easy to watch, while also having some style. I truly was rooting for each guy throughout the film. Blind Ambition earns the Must See rating.
June 15th 2021