The Wrestling Grounds (L'appel des arenes)

The Wrestling Grounds (L'appel des arenes) Movie Poster

Saved from a gang of abusive street thugs by a kindly but intimidating wrestler, a nineteen year-old boy goes against the wishes of his domineering mother to pursue the art of grappling as a vocation in the debut feature from Senagalese director Cheikh Ndiaye.

In Senegal, where the sport of wrestling is deeply rooted in tradition, music, and spirituality, Andre (Moustapha Gueye) is a superstar. When thieves chase Dakar teen Nalla down the same street where Andre happens to be fixing his truck one afternoon, the well-known brawler puts the ruffians in their place and offers to give the amiable Nalla a ride home.

It is during this fateful ride that Nalla realizes his true calling as a wrestler, and sets out in search of his fate despite repeated pleas by his sophisticated mother to seek out a less violent career. Meanwhile, across town, epileptic gambler and ticket scalper Sory (Ibrahima Mbaye) pulls down a tidy profit by selling overpriced seats at the local arena.

Little to Nalla and Sory realize that fate has set them on a collision course that will have a profound effect on the lives of both men.

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