Berlin & Beyond Film Festival 2011 – Klitschko Review and Trailer

This was one hell of an exciting sports documentary!

Klitschko is an expose on the careers of two boxers whom most fans of the sport would find to be quite boring, and even go so far as to say is currently the worst thing about the sport.  I make that statement based solely on my friends who are hardcore fans of boxing.  Yet, as a non-boxing enthusiast, I couldn’t help but find these boring Ukrainian brothers and their rise to the top of their sport anything but.  Whereas these friends of mine were ready to throw in their towels on the entire sport, I was coming down with a severe case of boxing fever.

Initially, I was drawn to this movie by the prospect of seeing some sort of real life version of great dramatized boxing films like Raging Bull, Rocky, and most recently, The Fighter.  This was not to be.  Like these films, the chiseled Klitschko Brothers do have their roller coaster rides with drama, however, these brothers’ ups and downs take place primarily within the ring.  The focus never strays into any negative exposure of their more personal lives.  Personal lives that have all the potential makings of a great piece of dramatized fiction.

I can see it now: “From the producers of The Fighter comes the story of two brothers who rose from the toxic rains of Chernobyl to overcome insurmountable odds (cue in scenes of them coping with their Father’s cancer, suing Don King, and being looked down upon by American athletes upon their first arrival to the States in the 1980’s) to become world champions.”

Every athlete has their own unique story that, if filmed with care, will no doubt make for a great in-depth documentary subject.  This captivating, almost two hour introduction into the careers of two heavy weight boxing brothers, Natalia and Wladimir Klitschko is a shining example of this.  Knowing very little about these brothers, I was won over by the flood of positive light these two were spotlighted in.

I am sure there will no doubt be numerous people who see this film as nothing more than overblown propaganda existing only to reignite an interest in the sport and the brothers.  Others, such as myself, will see a finely crafted piece of cinema made by filmmakers who care about their craft – propaganda or not.

Showtimes for Klitschko:

Monday, October 24th, 9:15pm (Castro Theatre)

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