By Vitali Shaposhnikov:
Article posted on 11.04.2011
“You don’t play boxing. Boxing is serious stuff”- Larry Merchant
This is my review of the upcoming documentary called Klitschko, which will be a part of the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. I finished watching the film a few minutes ago, and I must say I am overwhelmed by emotions. I have seen many boxing documentaries, from Ali to Tyson, but have never been touched as much as I have am by the history of Klitschko brothers.
I don’t find it easy to review a documentary. It’s crucial to avoid exposing too much information and spoiling it for the potential viewers, yet at the same time interest needs to be baited.
My official opinion and review of this movie is as follows: Personally, I found the Klitschko documentary to be the best boxing documentary as of yet, and if need be scored, I would give it a 100/100 score with absolutely no hesitation.
The documentary carries very dense content, covering and answering absolutely all the questions that the Klitschko fans may have had or still have from the beginning of their careers. Max Schmelling’s crucial role in Vitali’s career, Vitali’s injury during the Chris Byrd fight, Lennox Lewis’s victory due to Vitali’s sight wrenching cut, Corrie Sander’s and Lamon Brewster’s thundering destruction of Wlad, and Wlad’s impressive comeback from rock bottom by beating Samuel Peter, are all covered in this documentary in great detail.
Both brothers come across as not only emotional but also humble people. For the duration of the whole two hour film, not once did either brother blame any of their opposition for their losses. They took the time to explain their position and show respect everyone else.
“I was extrememly nervous before my first fight. I was terrified of getting into the ring.” – Vitali Klitscko.
From inspiring quotes to a tremendous amount of never before seen information and footage, this documentary delivers non-stop entertainment, with no gaps in attention grabbing facts. I was completely glued to the screen, hesitating to pause it in order to make a quick note. Names like Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward were on the screen every few minutes offering their insight, while Lennox Lewis, Chris Byrd and many other boxing stars made appearances all throughout the film, praising the brothers and offering interesting personal touches to the facts.
The documentary covers Don King having the brothers at his house, trying to hook them in with a contract. Attempting to impress the brothers, Vitali directly noticed Don King’s dishonest nature, influencing his decision not to sign with King. This is not only discussed, but is also shown as a video, which was taped during that very meeting!
Wlad’s career is extensively analyzed in this documentary. His relentless come back after numerous questionable losses like a phoenix from the ashes, is nothing short of extraordinary. He talks about his feeling and stresses during a time when he was labeled a fake due to his losses. He then also clarifies what really happened, and how he was able to overcome the press and public pressures and get back into an inspired and hopeful state of mind.
Their early careers and attitudes in terms of training were also part of the documentary. Their first boxing trainer Vadim had the following to say: “Vitali was made of stone. Wladimir was made of Clay.” He was proposing that it took Vitali longer to get something, but was guaranteed to last once acquired. Wlad picked tings up quicker, but lost them just as fast if not refreshed.
Vitali’s interest and involvement in politics found a place in the documentary as well. His dedication to his countrymen and hope for the national welfare is expressed in a very direct and passionate way. There are numerous videos of his “action” in politics, with a little physical action to seal the deal.
As we all know boxing is a worldwide sport with boxers coming from all and any corner on this planet. There is one thing all fighters have in common, and that is the dream of fighting in the United Stated of America. The Klitschko brothers were lucky enough to have landed their career defining fights in America, but coming to United States was not a dream they had early on in their lives due to the Soviet Union propaganda: “I was brainwashed when I was growing up. Every morning in school we had to write all the bad things there were in America,”- Vitali Klitschko.
Their brotherly love and professional relationship has the biggest piece of the pie in this film, being covered in detail and talked about by various individuals, including of course their parents. Their mother confirms the fact that she has never been nor is planning to ever attend any of their fights.
“You feel safe with your brother; he gives you extra strength. Fighting is in Vitali’s blood, he was born a fighter. I had to become one,”- Wladimir Klitschko.
While there are numerous interest arousing quotes being exposed in this review, I didn’t even scratch the surface of the documentary. There is a melting pot of elements mixed into this project; comedy and sadness are displayed all throughout the film. An inspiring amount of new information including pictures and videos are incorporated to make the viewing experience more authentic and inspiring. Feelings expressed feel very authentic, taking the viewer’s emotions hostage.
I cannot see anyone being disappointed after leaving the theater, and am confident that most will share my enthusiasm and new found respect for the brothers who made it all the way to the top, together!
The question of whether they will ever fight each other has been extensively discussed over the past years. The documentary has something to say about this, so find where and when to see it, and make the trip into lives of Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.
Tribeca Film Festival
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