Plot & Details
Karyn Kusama makes her debut with this sensitive, subtly told coming-of-age story about boxing and love. Diana (Michelle Rodriguez) is a tough though painfully honest girl living in Brooklyn. Surly, frustrated, and directionless, Diana seems to have a ticket on the express train to expulsion; she repeatedly finds herself in detention and schoolyard fights. At home, her weak though abusive single father Sandro (Paul Calderon) clearly favorites her bookish brother Tiny (Ray Santiago) over her. While running an errand for her father, Diana finds herself in one of New York's more renowned boxing gyms, and she instantly connects to the same. Though traditionally a thoroughly male pastime in Latino culture, Diana perseveres and gains self-worth thanks to the help of gruff Panamanian trainer Hector (Jaime Tirelli). Soon Hector assumes the role of Diana's father from her deadbeat biological progenitor. As Diana gains physical strength and agility in the ring, she finds herself drawn to the dashing boxer Adrian (Santiago Douglas), who is supposedly involved with someone else. Slowly though, the two give into their mutual attraction and fall completely in love. Fate intervenes when the two lovers are scheduled to fight one another in the ring, forcing each to choose boxing or love. Executive-produced by none other than John Sayles, this film received rave reviews at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.