A Zimbabwean documentary that narrates the story of four refugees who made history at the 2017 World Blind Tasting Championships in Burgundy is set to screen in UK cinemas from 12 August 2022.
Directed by Australian filmmakers Robert Coe and Warwick Ross, Blind Ambition was first pitched as a ‘feel good’ film when the pair first heard the men’s story.
The documentary follows the lives of Joseph Dhafana, Tinashe Nyamudoka, Marlvin Gwese and Pardon Taguzu, who each left their home country, seeking better lives. They eventually end up working in hospitality in South Africa, where the quartet would be brought together by a growing appreciation for wine. They are then persuaded to form the first Zimbabwe team for the World Blind Tasting Championships, with Champagne Pierre Mignon’s sommelier Denis Garret as their coach.
According to its creators, the documentary tells a much deeper story. “It delves into some of the anti-immigrant sentiment and violence encountered by those who arrived in South Africa, their conflicting feelings about the country they once called ‘home’, and the enormous wealth disparity there.
Speaking about the documentary, Nyamudoka said, “Wine tasting is all about memory, and about really remembering what you’ve encountered. And for us, I feel that we Zimbabweans observe and articulate what’s around us because it’s not natural to us. We easily remember what we’ve tasted.”
The documentary first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021.