Synopsis by Mark Deming
Cambridge and Oxford have long had well-earned reputations as two of the finest schools in the United Kingdom -- and for nearly as long, a bitter rivalry has stood between them. While the students at both schools are far better suited to academia than sport, that doesn't stop a brave handful from volunteering for the boxing teams at their respective universities, and Blue Blood is a documentary which follows a year in the life of Oxford's student pugilists. As the Oxford boxing coach is forced to build the team from scratch after the graduation of the previous year's squad, he has to teach a handful of scrawny young men how to deliver (and take) a punch, but just as challenging is guiding them in the psychology of the sport -- they need to be unafraid of their opponent and willing to be beaten if necessary, a lesson that seems simple enough to most of his charges until they get their noses bloodied for the first time. Produced in part by the ESPN cable network, Blue Blood received its world premier at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.