Synopsis by Mark Deming
Jimmy O'Pharrow is a boxing trainer and one of the founders of the Starrett City Boxing Club, who describes one of his most promising fighters, Dmitriy Salita, like so: "Looks Russian, prays Jewish, fights Black." Salita was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and moved with his family to Brooklyn, NY, when he was a boy, as his father didn't want his children held back by widespread Russian anti-Semitism. Growing up in a rough-and-tumble section of Brooklyn, Salita developed a passion for boxing, and made a reputation as a fighter to be reckoned with in Brooklyn gyms. After winning New York's Golden Gloves championship, Salita turned pro, but he also made a renewed commitment to his faith, and while he's become a hero to the Big Apple's Russian and Ukrainian exile community as well as to devout Jews, he also struggles to remain true to Orthodox Judaism; as Salita himself once said, "If anyone wants a whuppin' from me, they got to wait until after sundown." Orthodox Stance is a documentary from filmmaker Jason Hutt that explores Salita's remarkable life and his journey to faith; the film received its world premiere at the 2007 Silverdocs Film Festival, a competition founded by the American Film Institute and the Discovery Channel.
boxing, cultural-identity, cultural-traditions, Hassidic, Jewish, Orthodox, retrospective