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Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: In central China, a Master coach recruits poor rural teenagers and turns them into Western-style boxing champions. The top students face dramatic choices as they graduate – should they fight for the collective good or for themselves? A metaphor for the choices everyone in the New China facesIn central China, a Master coach recruits poor rural teenagers and turns them into Western-style boxing champions. The top students face dramatic choices as they graduate – should they fight for the collective good or for themselves? A metaphor for the choices everyone in the New China faces now. (Eye Steel Film) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 100
    As with his previous film, director Chang nurses a compelling drama from a multilayered cultural reality, at once intimate and unfathomably large in implications.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 6, 2012
    91
    It's really about the ways in which Chinese westernization clashes with the traditionalism of Confucian teachings. It's about competition versus piety.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jul 5, 2012
    80
    As he did in his Three Gorges Dam documentary "Up the Yangtze," Chang examines how a particular strain of Western culture promises opportunity and prosperity for Chinese youth, even as it remains a continual source of intergenerational tension.
  4. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jul 6, 2012
    75
    Chang doesn't pull his punches in this continuing look at a changing, out-of-control China.
  5. Reviewed by: Janice Page
    Sep 19, 2012
    75
    Where Wiseman excelled in respecting the broad rhythms and pure storytelling of the ring, Chang's new documentary focuses on the stories of three boxers and weaves them into a compelling narrative that rivals anything Hollywood could script.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Jul 19, 2012
    70
    With observant fluidity and that grounding point of Qi's desire to fight once again, Chang roots the film in personal, individual stories, keeping larger metaphors for the nation at the edges.
  7. Reviewed by: Kalvin Henely
    Jul 6, 2012
    63
    Although we never really get to know He or Miao, despite following them around vérité-style, director Yung Chang expertly captures the rays of Western culture bouncing off them.

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