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China Heavyweight (2012)

tomatometer

79

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

56

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 1,614

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Jan 15, 2013

$10.5k

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (4)

This ain't no Rocky, and your take-aways are mostly about Chinese family and social customs.

September 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Focuses on the stories of three boxers and weaves them into a compelling narrative that rivals anything Hollywood could script.

September 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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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.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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The documentary is fluid, detailed and well photographed by Sun Shaoguang.

July 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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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.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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China Heavyweight is an uneasy mixture of familiar sports doc tropes and sociological portraiture.

July 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
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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.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Award-winning filmmaker Yung Chang returns to China for another unexpectedly lyrical snapshot of that country's rapidly changing economic and cultural landscapes.

September 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

A useful reminder that China's efforts to "catch up" with the West includes a descent into savagery.

July 7, 2012 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

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.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

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.

July 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

When China Heavyweight goes all Rocky in a climactic bout, it feels like it's lurching to life for the first time.

May 11, 2012 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

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.
June 12, 2013
John Ballantine

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