Tent boxers 1997

Tent boxers tells the story of Indigenous boxing in Australia, a sport which has produced renowned sportsmen like Lionel Rose, Tony Mundine and George Bracken. Through a combination of archival material and first-person accounts, Michael Riley looks at the origins of the sport within Aboriginal history: the travelling tent-boxing circuses where Aboriginal boxers were discovered. This short film collages black-and-white film footage of shows and circuses, highlighting the ludicrousness of the rides and attractions while evoking a sense of community that the boxers felt, with present-day interviews with former boxers and their wives. Many of the boxers speak to the fact that the sport offered one of the few platforms through which an Aboriginal man of that era could achieve acclaim and respect.

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