Justin Frimmer’s documentary focuses on a new wave of juvenile Mexican-American boxers in East Los Angeles. These kids are pushed into boxing at a very young age by their parents – some get into the ring at three years old – and are rigorously trained with the idea that they could someday qualify for the Olympics and a professional boxing career. At the center of the film are the twin brothers Oscar and Javier Molina, who are in preparation for the transition into the national men’s division of amateur boxing.
Frimmer manages to get the point across that boxing is a great strategy for keeping the youngsters off the violent streets of their gang-infested neighborhoods. However, the film’s boxing matches are little more than a bunch of teenager and pre-teens pummeling each other gracelessly. Even worse, the kids are not the most interesting subjects. The Molina brothers are pleasant but somewhat dull, and the other young boxers barely register once their gloves and safety equipment comes off.
“Born and Bred” might have had more impact if it was a short documentary. At 94 flabby minutes, it is anything but a knockout.
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