Punching the city


Punching the city captures voices from a massive movement sweeping across Europe in the last decade– and more notably in the last three years –in the world of grassroots boxing.
The film is focused on the uptake of boxing by new, grassroots recreational boxers, practicing far from large fitness or sports centers in very basic gyms, often located within squats, abandoned industrial buildings or on the outskirts of residential areas. The bulk of the movement is made up of those struggling with a precarious life - immigrants, young people trying to find work, the unemployed, and those working long hard hours for little pay in jobs such as motorcycle delivery or ad flyer distribution. Here people who feel like nothing begin to feel like something.
It’s well known that boxing has always been a sport for the poor.
However, the face of boxing in this documentary is a far cry from this angry male version of boxing. As postindustrial European cities face the most protracted economic crises the world has ever seen, beneath the sleek skyscrapers there is poverty. It’s not as simple as a lack of money – it is a state of being, as ordinary people are pushed under by the wealthy 1%. In this world of seismic urban change, ordinary people lose cultural capital and social connections. They are often unable to participate in the life of the community to which they once belonged. Cities are no longer human or comfortable. Regardless of income, many city dwellers experience claustrophobia living in them. Urban development from the midcentury to the 1980s was dedicated to a model of continuous economic growth, based in dehumanizing architecture and city planning: ring roads, plazas, and towers.
In the film is argued that boxing is the antidote to this feeling of powerlessness, exhaustion and to the overwhelming feeling of being crushed by the super rich who develop cities to suit their needs and who ignore the needs of ordinary city dwellers.

Mariella Bussolati
Tibifilmproductions (Mariella Bussolati)
Mariella Bussolati
Completion Year: 
70 min