“Orthodox Stance” is a documentary on Dmitriy Salita, the Ukrainian-born, Brooklyn-based junior welterweight boxer who happens to be an Orthodox Jew. And beyond the novelty of having an Orthodox Jew as a boxer, the film offers the viewer absolutely nothing that could even vaguely be considered as worthwhile.
Salita’s faith creates unique situations – a contract stipulation that his fights are not scheduled for the Jewish Sabbath or holidays, and a rabbi is part of his entourage as he travels the country to his matches. His handlers shamelessly exploit his heritage, and the film details the cynical marketing and publicity efforts that play up his religion.
However, religion is all that is being played up. Very little of the media attention provided to Salita emphasizes his athletic abilities, and the clips of Salita in the ring suggests he would not be given that much attention if there had not been so much focus on his heritage.
Salita is a decent but fairly boring young man who clearly cannot float a feature-length film based solely on his personality. In his dealings with the media, he clearly comes across as excessively coached to the point of being mechanical. Throughout the film, he is clearly uncomfortable with the camera and alternates between grouchiness, nervousness and indifference.
Filmmaker Jason Hutt spent three years filming this movie, but his techical skills are abysmal. The photography is flat and dull, and Hutt offers some of the worst sound recording ever presented in a theatrical release. Too many sequences are so poorly recorded that subtitling is required to decipher what is being said.
Salita’s story might have been more cogent had it been condensed into a ten-minute news piece. But at 82 minutes, the film is flabby and lethargic.