Fight Like A Girl – The Movie …
I’ve been thinking a lot about my friend Jill Morley’s film Fight Like A Girl lately.
It had its world premier at the American Documentary Film Festival in April 2012 and went on to showings at the Phoenix Film Festival, won the best documentary award at the Other Venice Film Festival, and most recently played at the Shadowbox Film Festival in New York this past December.
A highly personal film, it is not so much a documentary as a cinematic memoir that follows the lives of Jill, Susan Merlucci, Maureen Shea, and Kimberly Tomes as they train to box and compete in the ring.
The exploration, however, cuts deep into the heart of boxing where the physical act of extending one’s body with its full force to hit at something (or someone) can exact deep emotional turmoil, just as being on the receiving end of a barrage can trigger thoughts and feelings that may have been buried under the surface for years without having been truly dealt with.
Jill’s film delves at the heart of it all–and the opening scene with its stuccato pacing and highly stylized images sets the table, so to speak, for a cinematic exploration of exactly what it means for women to push themselves physically and mentally in the realm of the boxing’s squared circle.
For Jill in particular, boxing brought out a range of dark feelings that exacted a huge toll on her psyche. What she shows us, however, is a rare form of bravery as she uses the physical act of boxing and the witnessing of the camera as a way of uncovering and ultimately reconciling memory.
She is also able to use her camera to negotiate the emotional minefield that boxing uncovers for her other subjects–and in so doing not only reveals the courage that it takes for them to enter the ring, but the raw emotion necessary to work through hard truths in order to perform at the peak of their game.
This is a film worth seeing and represents the sport with all its complexity as it is …
For more information on Jill’s remarkable film, you can click on the link to her website here: Fight Like A Girl – The Movie. Please also check out her Facebook page for updates here: Fight Like A Girl-Facebook.