Blind Ambition review – inspiring documentary on first Zimbabwean wine-tasting team

Four refugees who left Zimbabwe for South Africa separately discovered wine and subsequently formed a friendship. And now, in this affectionate documentary, they are about to compete as the first Zimbabwean team in what is described as “the Olympics of wine tasting”.

What gives this familiar underdog story its satisfying emotional weight is the care that the film-makers take in tracing the journeys of Joseph, Pardon, Tinashe and Marlvin from desperate migrants to skilled sommeliers in some of South Africa’s top restaurants. It helps that they are an uncommonly decent and likable bunch. Marlvin, raised as a Pentecostal, giggles as he argues that, since Jesus turned water into wine, it must be OK to drink it. Serious, ambitious Joseph is diligent about passing on opportunities to the next wave of Zimbabwean refugees. It’s heartwarming, inspirational stuff.