China Heavyweight (2012)
Award-winning filmmaker Yung Chang returns to China for another riveting documentary on that country's ever-changing economic landscape-this time through the lens of sports. In China Heavyweight, Chang follows the charismatic Qi Moxiang, a former boxing star and state coach who recruits young fighting talent from the impoverished farms and villages across Sichuan province. A select few boys (and girls) are sent to national training centers, with the hope of discovering China's next Olympic heroes. But will these potential boxing champions leave it all behind to be the next Mike Tyson? Their rigorous training, teenage trials and family tribulations are expertly intertwined with Coach Qi's own desire to get back in the ring for one more shot at victory. -- (C) Zeitgeist … More
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Critic Reviews for China Heavyweight
This ain't no Rocky, and your take-aways are mostly about Chinese family and social customs.
Focuses on the stories of three boxers and weaves them into a compelling narrative that rivals anything Hollywood could script.
Yung seems to anticipate real-life emotional beats and positions his camera at exactly the right moments, yet nothing seems artificial or scripted. The result is an unexpectedly tender film about the price of coming into one's own.
The documentary is fluid, detailed and well photographed by Sun Shaoguang.
Perhaps by focusing on something that is so much an individual sport, Chang creates a deep sense of tension between singular people and the bigger concerns of history, the team or country.
China Heavyweight is an uneasy mixture of familiar sports doc tropes and sociological portraiture.
Chang works within the philosophical framework of the world of boxing to paint a poignant and often incisive portrait of the evolving Chinese cultural landscape and the temptations and ambitions that come with change.
Award-winning filmmaker Yung Chang returns to China for another unexpectedly lyrical snapshot of that country's rapidly changing economic and cultural landscapes.
A useful reminder that China's efforts to "catch up" with the West includes a descent into savagery.
Although we never really get to know He or Miao, despite following them around vérité-style, director Yung Chang expertly captures the rays of Western culture bouncing off them.
Portrait[s] of the individual determination and nationalistic fervor that seems to driv[e] China to the top in so many fields surmounts the sameness of this universal story.
This vibrant documentary about young rural Chinese boxers has many of the hallmarks of greatness but keeps its subjects at too much of a remove to achieve it.
Audience Reviews for China Heavyweight
Interesting although there have been more interesting topics explored by film makers on the modern China and quite frankly, there are more interesting boxing stories to potentially focus on. Nonetheless, it presents a look into the development of athletes within China and the key decisions that are forced to make.More
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