Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: Too Beautiful – Our Right to Fight

Whilst Cuba is a relatively small and poor county it has always punched above its weight in the Olympics. This is primarily down to their prowess in the boxing ring. Despite only having twelve places on the national team, roughly twenty percent of Cuba’s athletes participate in the sport. This is presumably due to the fact that professional boxing was banned by Fidel Castro and their wealth of world-class facilities and trainers. They’re the most successful amateur boxing nation in the world. However, only men are allowed to represent Cuba in the boxing arena.

Too Beautiful – Our Right to Fight, the new documentary from Maceo Frost, follows someone hoping that the situation will change. Namibia is a 39-year-old woman determined to box at the highest level. She trains alongside men at a legendary Havana gym. It is her life and has been for many years. The film follows her around through her daily routine as she trains towards the next Olympics, hoping the government will change its mind before she’s too old to compete.

Too Beautiful – Our Right to Fight is an energetic documentary which follows Namibia on her quest to be allowed to do the one thing she loves. Namibia is an engaging and arresting subject and it seems absolutely ridiculous that she’s unable to box due to some outmoded notion of gender roles. Frost ensures that her story remains fresh, avoiding the pitfalls of repetition. Too Beautiful – Our Right to Fight is the story of determination in the face of institutional prejudice.

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