Sunday, November 12, 2023


This is a look at the Taft High School Women's wrestling team in NYC. According to one of the coaches th school has a reputation for being dangerous, however he and his fellow coaches have found a place where they can help the young ladies grow and thrive.

Hands down one of the most moving films at this years DOC NYC, LUCHA made me feel all warm and toasty and cry unashamedly several times. This portrait of the program through the lives of the young women in it is a film of beauty and power. Yes the occasional mixing of music and image to a perfect level help keep the emotions high, but the truth of the matter is that the women themselves are so wonderful you can’t help but fall in love with them  You want to see them grow and succeed.

Following the women over several years we really get to know them. We see them in the gym and in their homes and over the course of the film they become friends. You love the film because you love them.

I find it hard to really critique the film beyond my emotional response because the emotions the film kicks up are so strong that that is all I have. I could tell you the film is structured in the typical sports doc fashion but that is ultimately pointless because director Marco Ricci tells the story so well that the story obliterates the frame work. We stop seeing this as a film but remember it just as time with friends.

This is ultimately as good as filmmaking can get.

Highly recommended

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