In Huili, a county in the Sichuan province, boxing coach Qi Moxiang gives his all for his young students. Though occasionally tempted to get back into the ring himself, Qi pours his talent into training the rural province’s up-and-coming boxers.

IN 1959 MAO Tsetung banned western-style boxing. 30 years later, the sport made a comeback in China and is today one of the sports with which the Chinese government seek to dominate in the Olympics. For the young villagers of Huili, boxing means the possibility of not having to continue their parents’ hard work in the tobacco farms, and a way of bringing honor and fortune to their families.

Director Yung Chang spent two years in the Huili county shooting this unusual sports documentary where western sport-mentality is mixed with eastern discipline and self-control, the serious nature of the farmers situation is mixed with the humor of every day life. Yung Chang creates a story about China today, carefully contrasting the individual and the collective: the young boxers’ desire to win glory for themselves versus their motivation gained through patriotism.

Ralph Chesterson

China Heavyweight poster
Title
China Heavyweight
Director
Yung Chang
Country
China, Canada
Length
94 min
Festival
2012
Section
Documania
Language
Chinese
Subtitle
English
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2012
Cast
Zongli He, Yungfei Miao, Moxiang Qi
Producer
Yi Han, Bob Moore, Zhao Qi, Peter Wintonick
Script
Yung Chang
Music
Olivier Alary, Johannes Malfatti

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