One hot afternoon Sean Kernan wandered into the Kampala Boxing Club in Uganda — for no good reason. He knew nothing about boxing and didn’t really care.
And he hung out there for the next seven years, returning, again and again, to film a deep dive into the far-off world of big-city boxers in Africa, with all of its passion, humanity, and ferocious focus.
What he brought back with him is “The Kampala Boxing Club”, a meditation on the rough violence and surprising beauty of the fight game as it is played on that continent.
The film challenges any conceptions we might have about this life with a view of what it actually is, so alive and demanding, so alien. Long hours honing the mind and body, then expending all that training in a few three-minute rounds, offering honor to the opponent who is trying to beat you; these are experiences that virtually none of us will ever have.
Kampala Boxing Club is a surprising look at fighting and beyond it. It invites you to see the heart and humanity and the beauty of boxing. The chance is rare. Take it!
As Joyce Carol Oates wrote in her book, On Boxing, “Life is, in so many unsettling respects, like boxing, but boxing…is only like boxing.”
Directed by Sean Kernan (USA)