Abner is trapped in the rough life of Mexico City. His escape? Boxing. Dr. Frank Irwin (Martin Sheen) and his son Jimmy, a pro boxer, come together to teach Abner that the heart fuels the punches we throw in life.
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Ten years after a tidal wave destroys a small-town elementary school with all the children inside, a young man builds a mysterious structure out of the school's remains, setting the town aflame with passions long forgotten.
Young Abner Torres wants to pursue professional boxing as his means to escape the pervasive poverty, prostitution, drug dealing and bullying police of his Mexican city. His abusive father already exploits him in illegal matches, keeping for himself whatever money Abner makes from it. Personal support comes Abner's way from his sister Silvana, best friend Wilo and girlfriend Paulina. Local physician Dr. Frank Irwin, a caring influence in the neighborhood, also takes an active interest in guiding the lad off the streets. Frank's son is Jimmy 'the Dream' Irwin, who is himself trying to make a boxing mark in American despite getting a little too old for the sport and nursing a broken hand. At Silvana's intercession, Jimmy begins training Abner at the local gym while beginning to fall for his sister. Just as things are looking good for Abner's chances, tragedy strikes, threatening to derail everyone's efforts to see him leave the ghetto. Written by
While boxing is the subject matter what the film is really about is the dreams of desperate men. Really strong performances by the lead actors Martin Sheen, Kirk Harris and Alex Perea. It was so great to see Martin Sheen in a great role like this. He carries such depth. Kirk Harris is amazing as his son a down on his luck boxer. Alex Perea is a discovery as the kid who they both help. The rest of the cast is similarly strong.
I've not seen many films that blend the use of language so well. I would guess that the film is about 50% in Spanish, 50% in English. Give or take. Beautiful and gritty images of Mexico City. I hope the music score is at some point released to CD. Beautiful and almost haunting at times.
Very authentic feeling film start to finish. The boxing is as good as I've ever seen on film. Films real and gives the film a almost documentary like feel at times.
I highly recommend seeing this film.
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