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klub bokserski
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Boxing Gym
dir. Frederick Wiseman / USA 2010 / 91’
subtitles: Polish


Richard Lord

Film description

Frederick Wiseman’s filmmaking focuses on violence, the body, and ability of the latter to transmute force into disquieting beauty, such as dance or modern societal efforts to both contain and ritualize violence. Here, Wiseman achieves the perfect balance of these motifs in a documentary about a local boxing club run by one-time professional boxer, Richard Lord.

The camera almost never leaves the claustrophobic fluorescent-lit club interior, modest and opulent at the same time, filled with objects, tape-covered punching bags, and the vague feeling of community bonding. It is a kind of Babylon of tolerance, welcoming to people of diverse races, sexes, ages, different in appearance, lifestyle, profession, education, and social status. They come with families, dogs; there is room for everyone.

The director entrances viewers with focused fighters and rhythmic editing, he delights in the movement of bodies, setting up contrasts and figures with choreographic mastery. Only natural sounds and overheard conversations entertain the ear while the action flows between intense encounters and acute individual struggles.

Agnieszka Szeffel

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