THE BOXING GIRLS OF KABUL
(Ariel J. Nasr, Canada). 52 minutes. Rating: This subtle study of Afghan girls engaged in the subversive act of training to box on the world stage creeps up on you. It’s not a crowd- pleaser like the Oscar-winning Undefeated. In fact, Sadaf, Shahla and their very brave coach, Sabir Sharifi, train hard, only to get creamed in the ring in international competition.
When they return from their first series of bouts – which give them a bit of publicity – the harassment starts from strangers and family. One boxer’s reactionary brother is a real piece of work.
Great shots contrast depressed Kabul’s inaptly named Olympic Stadium with sports venues in places like Kazakhstan. A winning portrait of female bravery. Apr 30, 3 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1; May 1, 7: 30 pm, Royal Cinema; May 6, 1: 30 pm, Cumberland 2.