THE BOX­ING GIRLS OF KABUL

NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Hot Docs Film Fest Guide -

(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.

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