Directed by Achero Manas
  • Spain / 
  • 2000 / 
  • Spanish with English subtitles / 
  • 87 min
EL BOLA DVD & Online Streaming
Screenings & acquisitions, contact:
Maxwell Wolkin
email / 212-941-7744 ext. 211
In-home viewers, can purchase here.
"A truly remarkable performance from its lead actor, twelve-year-old Juan José Ballesta, who plays this street urchin in equal parts tough and vulnerable."
– Jamie Russell, BBC
"A wonderful tale [with] amazing portrayals! Emotional and unforgettable!"
– Jen Johans, Film Intuition
"At once subtle and visceral...a measure of faith in the future."
– Leslie Camhi, The Village Voice


Pablo is a 12-year old boy raised in a violent and unforgiving environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he retreats from his classmates, engaging them only through a dangerous game. The arrival of a new boy at school, from whom he learns a new definition of friendship, leads to the discovery of a family where communication and love prevail over domination and violence. The film poignantly parallels the lives of a caring father unable to connect with his willful son, and that of distant Pablo and his abusive father who is incapable of giving him the love he needs, replacing it with something far more sinister. Told through both the children's and adults' points of view, El Bola is a stirring story that lodges in the memory.


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EL BOLA Movie Photo
Juan Jose Ballesta in El Bola
EL BOLA Movie Photo
Juan Jose Ballesta in El Bola
EL BOLA Movie Photo
Juan Jose Ballesta and Pablo Galan in El Bola
EL BOLA Movie Photo
El Bola poster (hi res)