The Ground We Won

Rugby, nurse agriculture, order and booze – the holy trinity of manhood in the countryside of New Zealand. The Ground We Won features sublime black and white cinematography that captures a year of day-to-day life in the village of Reporoa and neighbouring regions. The film paints a picture of a lifestyle that is manly, medicine physical and straightforward, filled with sooty faces, bruised kneecaps, and crude grain fields.

The documentary follows the rugby team of Reporoa, as they try to recover from a humbling string of lost matches. The team practices and boasts that they will surely win the next match, but the most important thing is to strengthen their team spirit. This often happens while enjoying beer or homebrew moonshine. The lively evenings and the rugby matches themselves are all a part of a continuum of activities that maintain the players’ Kiwi identity.

In the world of this documentary, women have been cast aside. They cook in the kitchen, cheer on the team from the side of the playing field, look after children, and even strip in front of the team. Although the men also face limited opportunities, the film highlights a way of life that seems easy on the surface. Each of the team members asks in turn: “If I didn’t play rugby, what the heck would I do?”

Anton Vanha-Majamaa / Translation: Sanna Parikka

Language: English
Subtitles: English

  • Director: Christopher Pryor
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Year: 2015
  • Length: 90 min
  • Age limit: K12
  • Format: DCP
  • Cinematography: Christopher Pryor
  • Editing: Christopher Pryor
  • Audio: Dick Reade
  • Music: David Long
  • Production: Miriam Smith / Deer Heart Films


  • Cinema Sõprus: Saturday 30.01 - 18:00