7.1/10
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2 user 2 critic

The Boxing Girls of Kabul (2012)

A group of young Afghan women train to represent their country as boxers in the 2012 Olympics.

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Sadaf Rahimi ...
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Shabnam Rahimi ...
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A group of young Afghan women train to represent their country as boxers in the 2012 Olympics.

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30 April 2012 (USA)  »

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Engossing tale of individual struggles in an oppressive society.
15 January 2017 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

The Boxing Girls of Kabul is an engrossing glimpse into post-Taliban Afghanistan, where life is freer than before, but women can still be stoned and hung for perceived immorality. The 3 young boxers are both encouraged and criticized, and as such demonstrate the precarious state of social pressure in a poor, religious, fractured country. Their fathers and their coach, despite serious threats against them, are all determined that the girls have the right to fight, and so seem similar to the father of Malala Yousafzai -- liberal people in an oppressive society.

In the narrative itself, the girls are at once inspiring. brave, naive, unrealistic, and seen through a certain lens, pathetic. With only amateur training, few resources, primitive equipment, and not even a ring in which to spar, their hopeful trips to tournaments in Vietnam and Kazakhstan become sobering collisions with reality, facing better trained, faster, fitter girls.

So, a story about the human condition, about brave young people, about coping in a hostile society, all in 50 fascinating minutes. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada, it is on Netflix. It is worth seeing.


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