Pablo (El Bola) 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 (El Bola) and his abusive father who is incapable of giving him the love he needs, replacing it with something far more sinister. One imprints his son in an improbably gentle manner with a tattoo stylus, the other brutally with his fists. Told through both the children's and adults' points of view, Achero Manas's El Bola is a stirring narrative that lodges in the memory.
Watching this film was not easy as I came from a similar childhood background, but I encourage everyone to see this film.