Canadian Sport Film Festival 2017: Our Review ‘Daddy Loves You’

Canadian Sport Film Festival 2017: Our Review ‘Daddy Loves You’

In the history of cinema there have been a countless number of boxing movies.  Most follow the same basic plot – a down on their luck boxer looks for glory in the ring in hopes that they will better their station in life.  The plot is a cliché to be sure but clichés don’t count when the story is true.

Daddy Loves You, a 2015 Finnish documentary directed by Ninni Rokosa, is the story of Jussi Koivula, a boxer who grew up in a home destroyed by addiction.  With two alcoholic parents he was left to his own devices and took to running to blow off steam and find some peace.  Boxing came later and as a grown man he is successful enough to provide some money for his wife and young son.

The film is almost note for note the boxing story we are all used to seeing and while it may not bring much new to the table it proves to be both an interesting look at life in Finland, as well as, a moving account of one man’s experience as both a boxer and a survivor.

The real issue with the film is its singular focus on its subject.  It is entirely made up of footage of Jussi training accompanied by a voiceover of him recounting his journey.  The boxing match towards the end of the film adds some suspense but the only real tension in the film comes courtesy of a pre-match weigh in as Jussi struggles to lose the last few kilograms so he can meet his target weight.

Still, the film is engaging enough and provides a reminder that sports glory can come even from the worst of circumstances.

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