The Flying Stars is an upcoming Al Jazeera documentary about Bornor Kargbo, captain of The Flying Stars football team in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The country is home to one in five of the world’s amputees as a result of the 1991-2002 civil war, which cost Bornor his leg.
“When I started training, people would say, ‘Oh, this guy has one leg. How can he play football?’ But I did not listen to anybody,” says Bornor, who taught himself to play on crutches and has now competed in three amputee World Cups on three continents.
The Flying Stars is a complex character study of a remarkable man who is both inspiring and haunted, of an ageing sports star with a family to provide for, who must face up to a future where soccer will be a passion, not a career.
Winner of the Telefilm Canada Pitch This! Competition, The Flying Stars is co-directed by Allan Tong and Ngardy Conteh George, who was born in Freetown but raised in Toronto.
The Flying Stars premieres on Sunday, 13 September, at 2230GMT on Witness, Al Jazeera’s observational documentary strand, with repeats on 14 September at 0930, 15 September 0330, 16 September 1630 and 17 September 0530GMT