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Born and Bred (2011)
Very original film
I love documentary films like this. It felt a lot more "real" than most documentary films these days that use all kinds of recreated footage and fictional-style effects to try and sell you some social message.
This one just came straight from the heart of the people it was about. I thought from the trailer that it was going to be all about kids being raised to fight but there was a lot more to it. The film centers on two gyms in the same Los Angeles neighborhood but it constantly shifts among the lives of numerous boxers/trainers/parents to tell the larger story of working class immigrants struggling to make it on both a physical and spiritual level. As it unfolds, it also breakdowns the "making" of a young boxer as he goes from childhood bouts with other kids around the country to Olympic competition to the televised professional ranks.
There is a kind of ritualistic feel to the whole film as the narrator and various commentators provide a rich background of the culture of the sport and the psychological path that a boxer must take to emerge victorious. The story inspired me more on a larger level of understanding how the human mind works when it is pushed to the limit in a very real way. Overall, this is just a really original film. If you liked Hoop Dreams and When We Were Kings, you'll like this.