Programmed by Daniela Persico
Benny is a thirty-six years old Italian light heavyweight champion. He was tested positive for doping drugs and the Court of Arbitration for Sports banned him for four years. Mario is sixteen and his sparring partner is the same as Benny, but only a week before the beginning of the championship, Mario weights six kilos over the ranking. Even their trainer thinks Mario’s chances are low, but Benny wants to help the young man to find his strength to not give up. Helping Mario losing his weight is also an opportunity for Benny to face his demons and redeem himself from his mistakes and forget his past.
Two solitudes cross paths in a gym on the outskirts of town. On one side, the dreams and indiscipline of a young boxer, and on the other, the disillusionment and bitterness of a retired athlete. The way in which they gradually draw closer to each other, highlighted by the film’s narration, makes this documentary different from the many already made about boxing. The sport itself takes second place to the personal relationship of the two protagonists – directly opposed in their own way, they eventually teach and learn from each other, with lessons useful for each man’s destiny. Capable of capturing the moment, the director opens up the narrative to the more emotional side of the story, and also manages to tackle the slippery ground of metaphor: the white horse is out of the running…
Programmer and critic