Poor Boy’s Game. 2007. Canada. Directed by Clement Virgo
Screening at MoMA on March 13-18 as part of the Film exhibition Canadian Front 2008. For more information on the exhibition:
Screenplay by Chaz Thorne, Virgo. With Rossif Sutherland, Flex Alexander, Danny Glover. The “poor boy’s game” in question is boxing, and Clement Virgo’s most recent feature is a knockout, set in the racially divided, working-class neighborhoods of Halifax, Nova Scotia, where there has been a sizeable black community since the 1840s. Dockworker and former boxer George wants vengeance for his son, a promising young black boxer who was assaulted and crippled by Donnie, a man who is about to be released from prison after serving time for his crime. As tensions and violence rise in the community, the narrative cannily shifts focus. Poor Boy’s Game may be more about kinship and its demands than boxing, but it nevertheless ends with an extra-ordinarily suspenseful match—one in which the viewer wants neither of the fighters to win or lose. Courtesy ThinkFilm. 104 min.