El Bola

Overview

A boy from an abusive home finds a new lease on life through friendship in this drama from Spain. Pablo (Juan Jose Ballesta) is a 12-year-old boy growing up in an underprivileged neighborhood in Madrid. Pablo doesn't have many friends, and his home life is not happy -- his father Mariano (Manuel Maron) often beats him, and his mother Aurora (Golria Munoz) doesn't know what to do about it. Alfredo (Pablo Galan) is a new boy in town who has just enrolled in Pablo's class at school; Pablo and Alfredo strike up an ...
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Overview

A boy from an abusive home finds a new lease on life through friendship in this drama from Spain. Pablo (Juan Jose Ballesta) is a 12-year-old boy growing up in an underprivileged neighborhood in Madrid. Pablo doesn't have many friends, and his home life is not happy -- his father Mariano (Manuel Maron) often beats him, and his mother Aurora (Golria Munoz) doesn't know what to do about it. Alfredo (Pablo Galan) is a new boy in town who has just enrolled in Pablo's class at school; Pablo and Alfredo strike up an immediate friendship, and Pablo feels comfortable with Alfredo's family, particularly his father Jose (Alberto Gimenez), who draws tattoos for a living, and his mother Marisa (Nieve de Medina). Alfredo's godfather has been hospitalized with AIDS-related illnesses, and when Alfredo goes to visit him, Pablo tags along, which angers Mariano and leads to another violent episode. Alfredo notices Pablo's bruises and tells his parents, and Jose enlists a social worker, Laura (Ana Wagener), to help find a safer environment for the boy. El Bola was produced in association with UNICEF.
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Special Features

The Making of El Bola; El Bola theatrical trailer; Biographies of director & actors; Coming soon to film Movement: Richard Lowenstein's He Died With a Felafel in His Hand; This Month's Short film: More by Mark Osborne
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
They call Pablo (Juan José Ballesta) "El Bola, or "Pellet," after the large ball bearing he carries with him as a good luck charm, but the charm doesn't seem to be working. Pablo lives in an abusive home. When he finally finds a sympathetic friend, Alfredo (Pablo Galán), and is accepted by his new friend's family, Pablo's father, Mariano (Manuel Morón), does everything he can to keep Pablo away from them, because he considers them deviants. Despite its superficial resemblance to an after school special, Achero Mañas' El Bola is a simple, but gritty and well-acted ensemble drama that encompasses a potent metaphor for a country still dealing with its recent fascist past. Mañas gets very effective performances from his child actors, particularly from Ballesta, who takes on a challenging role with understated assurance. Morón brings a bit of depth and humanity to his role as the hateful father. You may want to jump through the screen and throttle him, but he's not a typical two-dimensional movie villain. Mañas balances the despair and deprivation of Pablo's home life with a hopeful view of Alfredo's family, particularly his strict but loving father, José (Alberto Jiménez, also very good), and their joyously offbeat alternative lifestyle. El Bola doesn't offer simple solutions to the problems it depicts, instead concluding with a glimmer of hope and a subtle but troubling suggestion that the apple may not fall too far from the tree. El Bola won four Goya Awards in its native Spain, and was the first film presented in the U.S. by the unique DVD/film distribution service, The Film Movement.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/5/2005
  • UPC: 616892622529
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Film Movement
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 66,172

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Juan José Ballesta Pablo
Alberto Jiménez Jose
Manuel Morón Mariano
Nieve De Medina Marisa
Andres Gertrudix Javi
Carmen del Valle Camarera Bar
Miguel Gutierrez Salva
Alfonso Vallejo Vecino
Technical Credits
Achero Manas Director, Screenwriter
Jose Antonio Felez Executive Producer
Goldstein & Steinberg Sound/Sound Designer
Satur Idarreta Art Director
Nacho Ruiz-Capillas Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Train Game [5:46]
2. Alfredo [4:18]
3. Free Fall [11:13]
4. Felix [7:35]
5. Hospital Visit [5:26]
6. Train Game II [9:16]
7. Pablo's Absence, Alfredo's Loss [11:10]
8. Train Game II [8:56]
9. Pablo Comes Home [5:04]
10. Is Pablo a Good Boy? [4:57]
11. The Escape [9:02]
12. Pablo's Confession [1:44]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play 'El Bola'
   Scene Access
   Subtitles
      Turn English Subtitles: Off
   Special Features
      Biographies
         Achero Mañas Amyach, Director
         Juan José Ballesta, El Bola (Pellet)
         Alberto Jiménez, Alfredo's Father
         Manuel Morón, El Bola's Father
         Pablo Galán, Alfredo
      Making of 'El Bola'
      'El Bola' Theatrical Trailer
      Coming Soon - Richard Lowenstein's 'He Died With a Felafel in His Hand'
         Play
      This Month's Short Film 'More'
         Play 'More'
      Weblink
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