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RING OF FIRE - EMILE GRIFFITH STORY

USA, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Zero to Hero: Survival of the Fittest)

Director: Dan Klores, Ron Berger

It was 1962, when "even Liberace was thought to be straight". On a Saturday night, boxer and hat designer Emile Griffith was fighting champion Benny 'The Kid' Paret in a grudge match at Madison Square Garden. Prior to the bout, Paret taunted Griffith with the explosive word maricon - Spanish for 'faggot' - a subject forbidden not only in the macho milieu of sports but also in society in general. Humiliated and fuelled by anger, Griffith came out swinging, and pounded the helpless Paret. Millions at home were horrified to witness Griffith kill his opponent in the ring - the first live death in television history. Within hours, politicians, clergy, teachers and broadcasters called for a permanent ban on boxing. The sport was taken off television for 10 years. Skilfully blending interviews with rousing archival footage, [Ring of Fire] explores society's love affair with the cruel beauty of boxing, and the taboo of homosexuality in sports, to tell a remarkably affecting tale of human tragedy.
D/P Dan Klores, Ron Berger WS Films Transit TD video/col, B&W/ 2004/87mins Dan Klores and Ron Berger were born in New York, USA. Their films are [The Boys of 2nd Street Park] (2003), [Ring of Fire - Emile Griffith Story] (MIFF 05).

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