Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: No Ball Games

Immerse yourself in the games kids play when the streets are their playground

The London-based filmmaker Charlotte Regan’s charming documentary No Ball Games tracks the nuances of play between young friends in three working-class neighbourhoods across the UK. Capturing the joy of an aimless summer’s day spent finding fun, the film celebrates the instinctual ability of children to cook up their own entertainment from scratch – including, in this case, wresting directing duties from the filmmakers from time to time. With an immersive style, Regan’s film transports viewers into a world of resourcefulness, invention and fun that’s rarely accessed – and perhaps even forgotten – by those burdened by the quotidian concerns of adulthood.

The documentary was shot before Covid-19 changed the children’s lives and shifts from rural Wales to post-industrial Teesside and inner-city London. What challenges will these young people face in the aftermath of brutal funding cuts to youth services? How can their optimistic energy strengthen their resilience in these challenging times?



Film-maker Charlotte Regan talks about her own experience of a working class childhood and why she wanted to make No Ball Games. Read the interview here.

Director: Charlotte Regan

Producer: Theo Barrowclough

Website: Guardian Documentaries

Text: Aeon

Running time: 13 minutes

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video.

Filmmaker Charlotte Regan on the set of No Ball Games.
Photograph: Charlotte Regan
On the set of No Ball Games with some of the lead characters.
Photograph: Arran Green/The Guardian

One comment on “Video: No Ball Games

  1. allisonfine
    May 23, 2021

    Absolutely wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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