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German Premiere: “Between Rings – The Esther Phiri Story” with Director Jessie Chisi in Attendance

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Info   Tickets: 7,50€; ermäßigt: Berlinpass, 5er & 10er Karte, Gildepass, Heavy User Card; 030 283 46 03; www.hackesche-hoefe.org

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Directed by Jessie Chisi and Salla Sorri, “Between Rings” tells the story of seven-time women’s welterweight boxing champion Esther Phiri. Dubbed the ‘Laila Ali of Zambia’ in some quarters and ‘Zambia’s Million Dollar Baby’ in others, the film follows the life of the now 27 year old boxer and shows the woman behind the boxing champion.

Esther Phiri has literally had to fight to carve out an independent life on her own terms. In her native Zambia, the seven-time world champion in boxing became an icon for anyone who had dreams in life that were different from the ones that traditions had created for them. And in 'Between Rings' we understand why: she is a deeply charismatic woman with the courage of her convictions. And she can knock anybody out! Esther first renounced her education to support her family. But since then she has also renounced the expectations of marriage and family to invest in her meteoric career as a boxer. With success comes pressure, jealousy and criticism - especially outside the ring. In the wrong hands, this film could have been a predictable and sentimental story, but the Finnish/Zambian directors Salla Sorri & Jessie Chisi have created an exceptionally realistic film, which avoids politically correct clichés in favour of a portrait that makes space for the contrasts, conflicts and inner tensions that are also a part of Esther Phiri's story. And finally, you can only have the greatest respect for her tenacity and courage - and for how infinitely much she had to fight for.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nIIT-TTW0A

“This is the first time I’m really opening up for people to see me as Esther Phiri, the woman, not the boxer. It’s scary to be this open, but I think it’s important to share my story, so that people can see that even success comes with a price. We work hard, but we also have personal struggles to overcome. I hope my story shows young girls that they can do everything they want to do, and inspire them, no matter their circumstances.” Esther Phiri

’Between Rings’ tells the compelling and hard-hitting story about the Zambian boxer Esther Phiri, who fought her way out of the slum and became Zambia’s most famous athlete – and a symbol of womanly independence. It is also the story of how a divided woman, who at first gives up her education for her family and later gives up love to pursue her boxing career. With the career and the success jealousy and critics follows and in the end Esther gives up this as well. ‘Between Rings’ is a movie about strength, courage and women’s liberation. I can only recommend this movie. Ido Laerke

"In the wrong hands, this film could have been a predictable and sentimental story, but the Finnish/Zambian directors Salla Sorri & Jessie Chisi have created an exceptionally realistic film, which avoids politically correct clichés in favour of a portrait that makes space for the contrasts, conflicts and inner tensions that are also a part of Esther Phiri's story. And finally, you can only have the greatest respect for her tenacity and courage - and for how infinitely much she had to fight for." The Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival

Between Rings
D: Salla Sorri, Jessie Chisi, 2014, 82 Min.
Original English with English Subtitles

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