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Boxers and Ballerinas (2004) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Boxers and Ballerinas is about four young people forever united by their cultural heritage, and forever divided by 90 miles of water and over 40 years of political conflict. The documentary traces the lives of a boxer and a ballerina in Miami, Florida, and a boxer and a ballerina in Havana, Cuba: their triumphs and failures, their power and powerlessness, and the singular intensity and violence of being young. Boxers and Ballerinas cuts through the romantic mystery of Cuba, the neon stereotype of Miami, and the political noise of US-Cuba relations to the sweat, sex, grace and aggression of winning the fight, nailing the pirouette, and chasing the dream until the body gives in. It is a film about young people by young people. Characters Yordenis Ugas: 17, 2003 World champion Junior Boxer 57kg, Cuba Yordenis fought his way out of the heavily impoverished, predominantly black district of Santiago de Cuba to earn a spot in Cuba's elite athletics school in Havana. The top boxer of their Junior team, Yordenis will be the first junior boxer (under 18) to compete for the National adult title. At just 17, will Yordenis be the number one boxer in Cuba? The film traces Yordenis as he trains for the fight, grapples with burgeoning fame and dire poverty in a communist state, and finally returns to his roots in Santiago to win or lose. Annia Recia: 18, Dancer - Radio & Television Ballet, Cuba A recent ballet graduate of Cuba's highly acclaimed School of the Arts, Annia is the youngest dancer in the Radio and Television ballet Company in Havana. Annia is selected to travel with the company to perform and train abroad in Mexico for a year. Given the strict regulations against travel to prevent defections, Annia's selection affords her a tremendous and rare opportunity to leave the island, possibly forever. Sergio Garcia: 21, Golden Glove Champion 145lbs, Miami Sergio and his family defected from Cuba in 1993. His immersion into Miami was violent; at 12 he joined a gang and pushed drugs to survive the streets until he found boxing. After winning the Golden Glove Championship of Florida at age 19, Sergio continued to dominate the Florida amateur Boxing league. The film follows Sergio as he steps up from the amateur to the professional ranks, where a win will bring with it a career, but a loss will send him back to the streets. Paula Roque: 21, Ballerina - Rosario Suarez Dance Company, Miami Daughter of the internationally renowned Cuban ballerina Rosario "Charin" Suarez, Paula Roque grew up in the dressing rooms and rehearsal halls of the acclaimed National Ballet of Cuba in Havana. In 1992, at the height of her mother's career, Paula and her family defected from Cuba to Miami to support her mother's dream of directing her own ballet company, an impossible feat in communist Cuba. At the age of 21, Paula faces the difficult decision of continuing to prop up her mother's ambitions with little financial backing, or pursuing her own dreams to dance with the Washington Ballet in the District of Columbia.

    - Written by Rolling Shin
  • Boxers and Ballerinas is about four young people forever united by their cultural heritage, and forever divided by 90 miles of water and over 40 years of political conflict. The documentary traces the lives of a boxer and a ballerina in Miami, Florida, and a boxer and a ballerina in Havana, Cuba: their triumphs and failures, their power and powerlessness, and the singular intensity and violence of being young. Boxers and Ballerinas cuts through the romantic mystery of Cuba, the neon stereotype of Miami, and the political noise of US-Cuba relations to the sweat, sex, grace and aggression of winning the fight, nailing the pirouette, and chasing the dream until the body gives in. It is a film about young people by young people.

    - Written by Rolling Shin
  • Shot in three countries over a two year period, Boxers and Ballerinas explores the US-Cuba conflict through the eyes of four youths--a boxer and a ballerina in Havana and Santiago de Cuba and a boxer and a ballerina exiled in Miami.

    - Written by Anonymous

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