CHINA HEAVY­WEIGHT

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

(Yung Chang, Canada, China). 89 min­utes. Rat­ing: Yung Chang fol­lows his ac­claimed Up The Yangtze with another look at chang­ing cul­ture in mod­ern China. Here, a few young men in cen­tral China who’ve been re­cruited by a box­ing trainer try to be­come cham­pi­ons.

It’s your ba­sic un­der­dog struc­ture, and the train­ing se­quences are ap­pro­pri­ately gritty and gru­elling. But the ma­te­rial isn’t well suited to Chang’s moody, sen­sual aes­thetic, which uses long takes and an at­mo­spheric sound mix to build a con­tem­pla­tive space around ev­ery­thing he shoots. When the time comes for China Heavy­weight to go all Rocky in a cli­mac­tic bout, it feels like it’s lurch­ing to life for the first time. May 2, 9 pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cin­ema (and simultaneously across Canada in se­lect Cine­plex movie the­atres); May 3, 2 pm, TIFF Bell Light­box 2; May 4, 9: 30 pm, Fox The­atre.

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