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

Director: Diane Zander

Tara is 13. She likes to go to the mall and wrestle boys. She only has one more year to do it in, because after that Texas law says she's too old to compete with males! Girl Wrestler is an intriguing portrait of Tara's struggle to be recognised as a serious athlete in a US state that says her actions are just plain unladylike. This is only one of the challenges the Texan teen faces. Her father is a classic pushy parent living vicariously through his daughter's achievements. He drives her to ludicrous extremes and tries his darnedest to take the fun out of her wrestling. Meanwhile, her mother uses her as a pawn in her divorce. There aren't enough fellow female wrestlers in Tara's category for her to compete against, and if she 'whups' a boy he inevitably gives the sport away or hides from his chums for a month. What's a gal to do' This charming doc probes a competitive subculture with the same gentle approach as that classic of scholastic achievement, [Spellbound]. It also shares its warmth of spirit and affection for its subject.
D/P Diane Zander WS Journeyman Pictures TD video/col/2004/52mins Diana Zander was born in Houston, USA, in 1974. [Girl Wrestler] (MIFF 05) is her first feature documentary.

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