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Boxing Gym (2010)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 264 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 3 user | 22 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

Explores the world of a boxing gym in Austin, Texas, dwelling on the discipline of training as people from all walks of life aspire to reach their personal best.

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Explores the world of a boxing gym in Austin, Texas, dwelling on the discipline of training as people from all walks of life aspire to reach their personal best.

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Documentary

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Unrated
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Release Date:

9 March 2011 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Academia de Boxe  »

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Opening Weekend:

$2,036 (USA) (26 November 2010)

Gross:

$34,502 (USA) (3 December 2010)
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Empty Your Cup
18 June 2011 | by (White Plains) – See all my reviews

I am not familiar with director Wiseman's body of work, or should I say work of the body. But I am a member of a boxing gym and an enthusiast of film, especially independent film.

The boxer in me dwelled on every detail. The equipment, the space, the athletes, the trainers, what was said and wore, training methods, punch combinations, etc. As observation, the film is a great success.

The film may not be, however, sufficiently directorial for viewers disinterested in boxing. Persons depicted in the film say things. Wiseman leaves it at that. No attempt is made to develop a narrative, either for the culture of the gym or for any one individual. The leaving-alone of stories serves Wiseman well. Such an approach begs contrast with Werner Herzog's approach to his recently released Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Those who would see the film as a study of "larger questions—about the nature of human society, the relationship between individuals and institutions, and the ways in which people interact and influence each other" are narrating the film in terms of their own expectations. The film, I humbly suggest, is best approached from another angle. To quote basketball player Allen Iverson, "It's about practice." An old man shadow boxing, a young man talking about working out instead of working out, parents working out while keeping an eye on their babies: practice is the unity of intention about their intentions. I would encourage viewers to focus themselves in this selfsame way. If a single lens is to be privileged (even as I ought not presume the privilege to claim so) it is this lens of practice. Wiseman is wise to only let stand before us the facts. Ultimately, the rest is up to us. That is the practice that good trainers teach.


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