Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Shortly after Nixon reopened diplomatic relations with mainland China, there was a brief time when table-tennis (ping-pong) became a fad. This documentary film chronicles the Beijing-based Afro-Asian Table Tennis Friendship Invitational Tournament of Nov. 1971. In addition to the ping-pong games, the film shows diplomats and athletes toasting one another in ceremonial meetings and dinners, singing songs to one another, and generally having a stiffly genial time. Highlights of each segment are the entertainments given to enliven the proceedings: generally including gymnastics and dance performances. Participants were also filmed visiting factories, communes, museums, etc.
ping-pong, sports, tournament