Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play

70 mins


“More people watched the last soccer World Cup than have ever belonged to any religion,” observes author Tom Chatfield, one of a dozen or so scholars who appear in Bounce to consider the meanings of perhaps the most ancient man-made artifact that remains ubiquitous in the 21st century.

Director Jerome Thélia elicits startling insights as he asks anthropologists, psychiatrists, historians, evolutionary biologists, sports commentators and even a juggler what it is that gives the ball its universal appeal.

Bounce ranges widely — across academic disciplines, from diverse human cultures to animal specie and from prehistory to the modern era — to demonstrate how balls inspire play and how play is a cornerstone of intelligent life. This film shimmers with technical brilliance equal to its curiosity and intellectual breadth.

Production Team

Jerome Thelia

Festival Screenings

Featured in the 2015 Mountainfilm Festival.