fbpx Sparring | Gene Siskel Film Center
22nd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival

Sparring

2017, Samuel Jouy, France, 95 min.
Mathieu Kassovitz, Olivia Merilahti, Souleymane M'Baye

Show Times

  • Fri, Mar 22nd 2:00pm
  • Mon, Mar 25th 6:00pm

"Jouy makes a confident directing debut, achieving a smooth flowing narrative and using the camera in ways that pull the viewer into the intimacy of the fight scenes. His greatest strength may lie in what he achieves with a well-chosen cast."--Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

Aging middleweight boxer Steve Landry (Kassovitz) is nearing the end of an undistinguished career. His 49 bouts include 33 losses, and he has promised his wife he will quit after the fiftieth. Unable to afford a piano for his talented daughter, Steve takes on an inglorious and potentially dangerous gig as sparring partner for top-ranked slugger Tarek M'Bareck (real-life champ M'Baye in a charismatic performance). Kassovitz (AMÉLIE, MUNICH) brings tremendous conviction and battered dignity to first-time director Jouy's effectively understated tribute to the unsung palookas and stumblebums of the boxing world, who find fulfillment in endurance rather than glory--as Steve tells Tarek, "Having guys like you takes guys like me." In French with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. Courtesy of UniFrance Films and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. (MR)

This trailer is unsubtitled. The version shown at the screenings will be subtitled in English.

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