Small, Slow but Steady
Shô MIYAKE Japan, France 99 mins PG (Some Violence) Southeast Asian Premiere
A deaf boxer navigates the rhythms of life in this contemplative, unassuming Japanese arthouse gem that defies sports film conventions.
Keiko is a young deaf boxer who trains at an aging boxing gym threatened with the prospect of closure. She looks up to the ailing gym owner as a father figure, who is a key pillar of support for her. Immersed in a routine of training and her work as a cleaner in a hotel, the subdued Keiko gently glides along the rhythms of life inside and outside the boxing ring.
Gorgeously shot on 16mm, the film is loosely based on an autobiographical novel by Keiko Ogasawara, Japan’s first deaf pro boxer. Set in suburban Tokyo, bounded by a river, highways and trainlines reminiscent of the ropes of a boxing ring, Shô Miyake employs delicate restraint in this meditative, poetic exploration of human fragility and solitude.
Japanese filmmaker Shô MIYAKE’s features include Playback (2012), music documentary The Cockpit (2014) and And Your Bird Can Sing (2018), which premiered in the Forum section at the Berlinale. Small, Slow but Steady (2022) competed in the Encounters section of the same festival.