29 March 2018 | ThurzdayNext
A Sensitive Look.
I was so impressed by this documentary. It's unusual that one would be made about someone so young, and as mentioned often, a girl who boxes. The documentarians give it a light touch. They let Claressa and her couch (a surrogate father) tell their story of struggle and success. For Claressa, who grew up with several younger sisters, a single mother who is loving when sober, mean and physically abusive when drunk, making something of herself and taking care of her family are her only two goals in life. The camera follows Claressa everywhere. The film opens with a shot of her, brow furrowed, face, deep in thought, and a crew of reporters puzzled by her demeanor since she'd just won a match. Claressa is upset because even though she won, she'd gotten her lowest scores ever, and she simply couldn't understand why they weren't higher. You immediately see that she is sensitive, thoughtful, and very, very smart.
The film follows Claressa on her quest to become an Olympian at the 2012 London Olympics. First, she travels to China, where she must fight in order to qualify. Opportunity is welcome but presents challenges, as well.
Claressa is from Flint, Michigan, the city known as the place the American government disdainfully forgot. Where children became deathly ill from drinking tap water. You begin to understand the urgency behind Claressa's drive to win.
I won't tell you the ending, but this is certainly worth your time.