Boxers and Ballerinas (2004) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
4 Reviews
Sort by:
Vibrant, beautiful film
Stefan Gruenwedel21 September 2009
This vibrant, beautiful film, directed by Brit Marling and Mike Cahill, profiles four Cuban athletes and dancers -- two in Miami and two in Havana -- who struggle to perfect their craft while weighing obligations to family, homeland, and themselves.

Unlike typical documentaries that feature a succession of talking heads, Boxers and Ballerinas chooses a visual approach more reminiscent of fictional dramas. There's inventive use of color palettes, sound, framing, and competent, multiple-camera editing.

(Film seen at the 48th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 2005.)
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Amazing documentary
Stephen Lezcano7 August 2008
I loved Boxers & Ballerinas. This documentary succeeded on every level. It was exciting, interesting, and told a story steeped in political overtones without taking sides. I found myself watching people congregate in the streets of Cuba and wishing I was there. Then, seeing the struggle of second-generation Cuban exiles in Miami had me sitting up contemplating what I can do to help. While the subjects of this film are captivating, they are not extraordinary. As they share their dreams and fears, you will come to know them as very real and very normal people who have been born into almost surreal circumstances. This was a powerful display of the human condition.

4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A great story of life in different worlds
Bek Yuldashev13 April 2005
This is a great documentary about the live of four people two in the U.S. and two in Cuba and how they combine with each other. The movie really shows the struggle for Cubans to strive in their dreams and in order to be the best at it. I had a chance to see this movie at The Florida Film Festival and i had a chance to meet the directors. As they explained it was only the two of them who worked on this film and nobody else.They shot it with a regular DV Camera at you cant even tell that it is DV. Its a wonderful film which should get more noticed and appraised. In order to really understand the film you need to know about the struggle and the events that happened there with the revolution. It really made you think in what kind of world you live in that even some countries today cant achieve what they want.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
More style than substance
OldBoyDC22 August 2008
While I applaud the young filmmakers for the quality of the production (the time lapse shots, slick editing, etc.) - I do find that this is what detracts the most from the film. There is far too much focus on getting a cool angle, or yet another cool time lapse shot. The "voyeuristic" angles that are often employed in the film actually obscure important images - at one point a character's face is blocked by random objects in the room as she talks. If you are going to rely on visual style to carry a film, at least make good, meaningful choices with the shots.

I wished the film had spent more quality time with the characters. The film does not really present much reason for the audience to invest and care about the characters, other than just presenting the fact that they are struggling dancers and boxers in Cuba. This is certainly an interesting idea, but ultimately does not present enough conflict or meat for a feature length film.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews