Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
To everything there is a season and the same is true for professional boxers as can be seen in this contemplative winner of the 1995 FIPRESCI (an international critics' choice honor) award in Turin. Using a semi-professional cast, some of whom are actual fighters, Italian filmmaker and screenwriter Lino Caplolichio examines four boxers, each in different stages in their career. All the stories are imbued with a sense of disillusion and the violent fights are presented without undue romanticism or glorification. The story of boxing great from the '40s and '50s Tiberio Mitri , told via archival clips of his major fights and includes the one in which he was pummeled by world champion, Jake La Motta, provides the framework for the other three stories. In the first episode, Ciro, a 16-year old rookie impresses those who watch him spar in a run-down gym in working-class Naples. Later he must fight his sparring partner and closest friend in the regional championships. This creates much inner turmoil for Ciro. In the following vignette, a rising champion tries to psyche himself up for the most important match of his career. He is stuck in an English hotel during a terrible rainstorm and his preparation and attempts to master his considerable fear are constantly undermined by his manager, who continues barging in, and a snoopy reporter, whom he suspects was hired by the opposition to rattle him. The final story follows the humiliation of an older fighter struggling to maintain his title. Unfortunately he suffers a terrible defeat. In the end, Mitri gets the last words as he reflects upon his own career.
boxing, career, champion, defeat, fear, reporter, rookie, hotel