Anna Pazdur-Czarnowska, Przemyslaw Rydynski, Daria Strzepka, Agnieszka Szmerek, Alicja Cichewicz
Miguel Gaudencio, Pawel Sroka
Green Box (Theatrical), Kinonation (Web/VOD)
"Down, But Not Out" an Inspirational Sports Doc
It is a weird experience to be writing a review of Miguel Gaudencio's 71-minute boxing documentary Down, But Not Out on the morning after one of the biggest bouts in history, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
Down, But Not Out is different. I suppose that probably goes without saying, but it warrants saying anyway. Director Miguel Gaudencio has delivered a film that really gets back to the essence of boxing rather than just all the razzle dazzle. Gaudencio captures the action of four women boxers stepping into the ring for the first time in a boxing competition hosted by their amateur boxing association. Rather than a lot of razzle dazzle, Gaudencio just artfully follows the women - Daria, Anna, Alicja, and Agnieszka - and their colorful, inspiring coach, Coach Przemek.
To be fair, Down, But Not Out is not exclusively about these four women but they do seem to take center stage for much of the film. Filmed in black-and-white, Down, But Not Out possesses the grittiness of an early Jarmusch film and really deserves its place alongside one of those ESPN sports video collections because it's difficult to imagine that any fan of boxing wouldn't want to be watching this film.
This isn't your typical Americanized cinema. Filmed in Poland, the film has fewer distractions and more of a focus on the people and their mission. I would say we don't really get to know these young women, but I suppose we actually do through their fights and through their behaviors before and after.
I've never really fancied myself a boxing fan, but I quickly became a fan of this film with its naturalism and laid back honesty. I became a fan of Coach Przemek and his motivational and consolation speeches. I became a fan of these young women and those around them.
For more information, visit the film's website and check it out for yourself!
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic