China Heavyweight hopes to be trailblazer

Updated: 2013-12-12 15:50

By Wang Yu (

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<EM>China Heavyweight</EM> hopes to be trailblazer

Chinese-Canadian director Yung Chang promoted his film China Heavyweight at Lumiere Pavilions, a cinima in Chengdu,Southwest China's Sichuan province, 7 Dec, 2013. [Photo by Wang Yu /] 

Award-winning documentary film China Heavyweight will be screened in China on Dec 20, with its producers hoping to gain applauses from more than audiences.

This film by Yung Chang, an internationally renowned Chinese-Canadian filmmaker, revolves around boxing coach Qi Moxiang and his two students, He Zongli and Miao Yunfei, in their pursuit of becoming a "boxing king" like Mike Tyson. It won a Golden Horse Award for Best Documentary in 2012.

Yung Chang said the film is about much more than the physical sport and he is more interested in exploring China through flexing muscles.

"Boxing for me is a western sport and it's something like a metaphor about the young generation and about what is means to be an individual, because boxing is about fighting for boxers themselves," said Chang.

China Heavyweight was highly praised by film industry professionals after the world premiere at 2012 Sundance Film Festival, one of the largest independent film festivals in America.

"I would like to feel this movie is going to be a trailblazer and it is going to open up new horizons of doing things in China," said Malcolm Clarke, a two-time Oscar Academy Award-winning producer and director in an interview with China Daily.

"Chinese people, I think, do not understand well enough how many wonderful stories are written in front of their eyes, because they are familiar with these stories. While as a Chinese-Canadian, Yung Chang gets a little bit of distance, which make him see things differently," Clarke said.

"It is a film about contemporary life and contemporary struggle. You see people suffering and aspiring to better their lives. You see them trying, failing, succeeding," he added.

Yung Chang once met Tyson in China while working on China Heavyweight and showed him footage from the film. "Because usually, people in boxing are impoverished people from a lower class, Tyson is the same, so he can relate himself to the characters of the movie," said Chang.

Tyson is the real champion who represents the success of boxing. However, this film is looking into general amateur boxers. "I think my film is about people and the amateur athletes that don't always make it to the top. So I think this movie questions us about the meaning of success," said Chang.

"One of big breakthroughs in this film is its innovative spirit for the concept of documentary film. Compared with many other Chinese traditional documentary films that ignored the audio-visual language, this film paid more attention to aesthetic sensibility," said China Heavyweight producer Han Yi.

"When we shot this film, we made every effort to ensure the high quality of its footage," said Han Yi. "That is the main reason why this documentary film can be screened in cinemas worldwide."

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