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Pablo (El Bola) is a 12-year old boy raised in a violent and unforgiving environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he retreats from his classmates, engaging them only through a dangerous game. The arrival of a new boy at school, from whom he learns a new definition of friendship, leads to the discovery of a family where communication and love prevail over domination and violence. The film poignantly parallels the lives of a caring father unable to connect with his willful son, and that of distant Pablo (El Bola) and his abusive father who is incapable of giving him the love he needs, replacing it with something far more sinister. One imprints his son in an improbably gentle manner with a tattoo stylus, the other brutally with his fists. Told through both the children's and adults' points of view, Achero Manas's El Bola is a stirring narrative that lodges in the memory. Winner - 4 Goya Awards (Spain's Oscars). Winner - Avignon and San Sebastian Film Festivals. In Spanish with English subtitles.
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The performances of the two central boys, and the cast around them ring absolutely true to my understanding of what happens in the situation 'El Bola' finds himself in, and I... Read morePublished 11 months ago by pipnuts
El Bola or `the pellet' is the nickname given to young Pablo - he carries a ball bearing for good luck. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tommy Dooley
Although most people speak mainly, if not only, of the child abuse in this movie the true theme of the movie the friendship between Pablo and Alfredo. Read morePublished 14 months ago by John Black
This is not an easy movie to watch. The main focus is child abuse and the help another parent tries to provide and just when you think all is lost, the main character learns to... Read morePublished on November 23, 2012 by Virginia L Thompson
Films thrive on parallel universes, and writer/director Achero Mañas' El Bola takes full advantage of contrasting two fathers and their family lives through the eyes of... Read morePublished on July 11, 2011 by Bryan A. Pfleeger
I just watched El Bola on the Sundance Channel. Normally I don't like reviewing movies, because they're such a personal preference. Read morePublished on August 31, 2008 by T. Snyder
Pablo (Juan Jose Ballesta), known by his friends as "Pellet", is ruled by a tyrannical and abusive father. Read morePublished on July 2, 2008 by SORE EYES
"El Bola" is a powerful movie from Spain. In 2000, it was director Achero Manas' first full-length feature after having directed a handful of short film projects. Read morePublished on June 21, 2007 by Lee Armstrong
Brilliant, Heartbreaking, superb acting of the 2 kids and all the other members of the cast, Stunning, touching story and wonderful actors,this movie should be an Oscar awards... Read morePublished on June 5, 2007 by John L