Warriors is a documentary following a group of young Maasai who, in a remote region of Kenya, have remarkably formed a cricket team. They relate the sport to their traditional hunting techniques – the ball is the spear, the bat is the shield – and their flowing red robes in full flight are an awesome sight. The film follows the team as they pursue their dream of reaching England, the home of cricket, and test themselves in the amateur Last Man Stands World Championship.
But there is a darker heart to the story. The Maasai are male dominated, women have few rights – even to their own bodies – and girls as young as six have suffered Female Genital Mutilation and early marriages. Traditional practices such as these have also contributed to the spread of HIV/Aids, and now many believe the future of the Maasai is under serious threat. The Warriors cricket team are using their new-found unity on the field as an inspiration to those off it, attempting to educate and give young people a sense of belonging, support, and hope.
However, they face resistance from the elders of their community – well-respected and wise men who hold all Maasai traditional practices dear and carry great influence. They fear losing any of their traditions will herald the end of the Maasai.
Can cricket really bring change to the region?
TheWarriors original score was recorded mainly at Transmission Studios, Brighton, by Ali Gavan and Barney Douglas. Touch-points included the widescreen scope of Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western soundtracks, funky Kenyan psych records and traditional african percussion. Lots of room mics were used to give that feeling of space between the instruments, as well as that ‘in the room’ feel of 60s beat recordings.
The tribal drums were recorded in a church in Lewes, giving a huge natural reverb and feeling of space. Percussion involved traditional african drums, bottle tops and even a bicycle chain, along with natural sounds recorded in Kenya, layers of traffic noise, and atmospheres. Very little mixing was done to the final recordings, ensuring an earthy, real and immediate feel to the tracks.