An AIDS public service announcement produced by the international advocacy group Steps for the Future, Orlando Mesquita's short film The Ball presents a surprisingly lighthearted view of condom use in Africa. In a village in Mozambique, a man interrupts a group of boys playing soccer and accuses them of stealing his condoms to make soccer balls. Determined to carry on playing, the boys go off to buy a new condom for another ball. The ball is ingeniously constructed by wrapping the inflated condom first in a plastic bag and then in a piece of cloth, and tying it up with string. When they run out of string, the boys make use of a baby's jacket hanging out to dry on a clothesline, unraveling the wool from a loose strand. Mesquita has made more than thirty Þlms over a twenty–year career, including fiction features, documentaries, and educational programs, yet none have had quite as popular an impact as this whimsical piece of social advocacy.
Publication excerpt from In Still Moving: The Film and Media Collections of The Museum of Modern Art by Steven Higgins, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2006.