View Full Version : 'Diamond in the Dunes' -- documentary explores baseball and racism in Xinjiang Read

31-07-11, 06:12
A young Muslim Uyghur leaves his village to play college baseball and accidentally becomes a star
By Jessica Beaton, Shanghai Editor 27 October, 2009

Sandlot special: The Xinjiang University squad preps for a game with Qinghai Tibetan College.
Although baseball hasnít been a purely American sport for some time, we did a double take when we heard about Diamond in the Dunes, a full-length documentary about a Chinese-Muslim baseball team in Xinjiang.

Starring a young Muslim Uyghur named Parhat Ablat, and produced by the Documentary Foundation, the movie will air on PBS in the United States this spring as part of the 'Independent Lens' series.

The film covers Ablat's journey as he leaves his family in their rural village to attend university in ethnically divided Urumqi, where he becomes pitcher and captain of the school's baseball team. Although dormitories at Xinjiang University are segregated (Han and Uyghur), the baseball team is not. Over the course of the season, the team deals with brutal winter weather, racial tension and a game against the closest team at Qinghai Tibetan College, more than 2,000 miles to the east.

Donít expect overt political commentary, just a good olí fashioned baseball tale -- that just happens to be set in Xinjiang. Oh, and a score featuring Uyghur folk music.