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Shadow Boxers
Shadow Boxers
Actors: Michael Bentt, Lucia Rijker
Director: Katya Bankowsky
Genres: Action & Adventure, Documentary
NR     2003     1hr 12min

Why do women fight? This riveting behind-the-scenes look into the world of the female combatant takes us from manicures to knockouts! It turns our attention to the woman who is widely considered pound for pound the most da...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Michael Bentt, Lucia Rijker
Director: Katya Bankowsky
Creators: Anthony Hardwick, Anthony Wolberg, Katya Bankowsky
Genres: Action & Adventure, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Documentary
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Letterboxed
DVD Release Date: 01/14/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 12min
Screens: Color,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Powerful,exciting and's one of a kind!
Luis Badillo | Corpus Christi, Tx | 04/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was truely impressed by this film. I'm not even a boxing fan, but I heard so many good things, I had to check it out for myself. I was hooked from the minute it began. The film is beautifully shot and edited and the music is both soulful and pumping, like the movie itself which switches from the harsh realities of the sport to the poetic underside. And the women portrayed in Shadow Boxers are so unstereotypical, they are smart, thoughtful, sometimes funny, honest and most surprising of all, great boxers, especially the champion Lucia Rijker. These women are not who I expected to see when I thought of women's boxing. I want my daugthers and my son to see Shadow Boxers because this movie has a positive message that I find rare in movies today.My hat's off to the director for having the guts to make a movie with a strong, positive message and to depict these women especially the stunning knock-out artist Lucia Rijker, with such dignity and power. There is not a weak character in this film, and that's a refreshing change. I know I will never even get close to the ring, but after Shadow Boxers, I found myself dancing around my kitchen and throwing punches in the air.
Even if you never have dreams of stepping into the ring, as long as you have dreams of any kind, this movie will inspire you.
More a promotional piece than a documentary
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 04/05/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Recently, more and more women are entering the sport of boxing, competing with vigor on a turf that was formerly restricted to men. A rising star in this arena is Dutch boxer Lucia Rijker and this film focussed on her. We see her training. We hear accolades from important people in the boxing profession. And we listen to her philosophy -- "Because you can get hit, because you can get hurt, because you can get knocked down. It's like real life."Most of the film shows her in matches and the audience sees her extraordinary strength and focus over and over again, almost feeling those powerful punches. We can appreciate the breakthroughs she and others like her have made and see that the sport of women's boxing is growing. For this view into this special world, the film succeeds. However, I found myself bored. Even a documentary needs dramatic tension and that was lacking here. I couldn't root for her because it was obvious she was winning every fight. And, except for a brief interview with her and her Dutch-speaking mother, we really did not get to know her. In this way the film seemed more of a promotional piece than a documentary.Ms. Rijker speaks perfect English and expresses herself well. She now lives in Los Angeles but I yearned for some more background. With her dark hair and slightly African or Indian features, I found myself thinking about her ethnic heritage and hoped for a few words about that. Basically, I wanted more depth because the highlights of one boxing bout after another just doesn't do it for me. The film is short, only 72 minutes. It needed more time to explore and intrigue. If you are particularly interested in women's boxing, you might like this film. But I can only give a lukewarm recommendation to a film that literally put me to sleep."
Superlative Filmmaking
Richard J Banks | San Francisco, CA United States | 03/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This exceptional film captivated me from the start and never let go. The skillfully scripted story line presents the viewer with contextual background on the sport of women's boxing, an exploration into the psyche of the participants, and a chronicle of Lucia Rijker's rise to the top of the sport. These elements combine with a fresh creative film style and stimulating original soundtrack to afford the viewer a truly visceral understanding of what women's boxing is all about. You'll either be inspired to get in the ring or swear its not for you. I particularly enjoyed the diverse and entertaining cast of characters who all contribute to a rich experience. This film is definitely interesting and insightful, but more than that, it is a lot of fun to watch."
Absolute poetry, stunning!
Jermain Taylor | Brooklyn, New York | 05/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is a rare combination - it is beautiful, poetic, witty and also brutally real. SHADOW BOXERS takes you inside the boxer's world and pulls no punches. It is the best, most original documentary I have ever seen."