Award-winning filmmaker Yung Chang (“Up the Yangtze”) returns to China for another riveting documentary on that country’s ever-changing economic landscape—this time through the lens of sports. In CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT, Chang follows the charismatic Qi Moxiang, a former boxing star and state coach who recruits young fighting talent from the impoverished farms and villages across Sichuan province. A select few boys (and girls) are sent to national training centers, with the hope of discovering China’s next Olympic heroes. But will these potential boxing champions leave it all behind to be the next Mike Tyson? Their rigorous training, teenage trials and family tribulations are expertly intertwined with Coach Qi’s own desire to get back in the ring for one more shot at victory. Cinematically rich and intimately observed, CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT is all at once thrilling sports drama, astute social commentary and a beautifully crafted portrait of an athlete.
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