The latter years of teen life are all challenge, identity crisis, uncertainty; frustration and dissatisfaction plague almost everyone. But for others it’s harder – environment and family can exacerbate any and all of the issues associated with this time. Sala, Swahili for ‘prayer’, portrays these struggles in an immersive and personal manner. Through the time leading up to an American Football game, the intrinsic and extrinsic turmoil take the audience into a dark corner of the protagonist’s mind.

“HEADPHONES RECOMMENDED, VOLUME UP”, say the filmmakers in the Vimeo description. Through provocative narration, violent experiences are shared that leave the protagonist feeling powerless and vulnerable. Cries, smashing glass, helicopters and motorcycles create a soundscape of paranoia that strikes the young man to his core, forcing him to always check over his shoulder in case another instance of unprovoked violence found its way into his already volatile life.

He emigrates to another place, alone. His mindset stays the same, keeping to back alleys away from people while the chaos continues sounding in his head. Success Ben Wachiye elicits sympathy for his character; his reactions to the world around him are full of fear, the memories of criticism ringing through his head dampening his spirits even further.

But all of this struggle and turmoil leads to something chilling. In doing what he loves, all the doubt and worry ceases for a brief and beautiful moment. His passion for the game overcomes all the negativity in his world – for a short moment, he is absolutely sure of himself. The destructive soundscape ceases during this almost spiritual experience; his passion has finally triumphed over his doubt.

This film is full of courage and is an affirmation of determination. It is a testament to the human spirit; to endure for the sake of something precious to the individual.

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INFORMATION

CAST: Success Ben Wachiye

DIRECTORS: Morgan Funk, Nathan Funk

WRITERS: Morgan Funk, Nathan Funk

PRODUCER: Logan Adermatt

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ian Rigby

SYNOPSIS: A young man plagued with mental anguish pushes through boundary after boundary in pursuit of his dream.