On The Ropes (1999)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1999.  Highway Films, Magnolia Mae Films, The Learning Channel.  Cinematography by Brett Morgen.  Produced by Nanette Burstein, Brett Morgen.  Music by .  Film Editing by , Nanette Burstein.

Boxing becomes a life saver for three inner-city youths in this solid documentary. One woman sees her excellence in the sport as a way out of her neighbourhood, even though her stepfather’s drug habit is threatening to get her into more trouble than she deserves. Another young man is superb in the sport but keeps letting his ego get in the way, while a third can’t get over his fear of losing. Following their lives closely during their successes and failures, this film is engrossing and excellent viewing, at some points getting so tense as to be more like a fictional thriller than a documentary.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Documentary Feature

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