PING PONG

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(Hugh Hartford, UK). 76 min­utes. Subti­tled. Rat­ing: Watch­ing a bunch of 80year- olds play ping- pong may mo­men­tar­ily put a smile on your face, but Hugh Hartford’s doc rides that nov­elty from start to fin­ish.

Eight se­niors from all over the globe rang­ing in age from 80 to 100 com­pete in the World Ta­ble Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships in In­ner Mon­go­lia. Their decision to stay ac­tive and pur­sue such goals in­stead of sim­ply wait­ing to die is cer­tainly in­spi­ra­tional. How­ever, it’s hard to care, since Hartford doesn’t pay much at­ten­tion to any one in­di­vid­ual, ei­ther be­cause his ap­proach is too scat­ter­shot – cov­er­ing as many con­tes­tants as he can – or none of his sub­jects proved all that in­ter­est­ing.

And it’s not like any of the ping­pong matches are riv­et­ing.

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