Short Film of the Week: El Pugil (The Boxer)

Short Film of the Week: El Pugil (The Boxer)

El Pugil is a beautifully shot, emotionally impactful short documentary film about a promising boxer out of Puerto Rico.

This film follows Angel “Tito” Acosta, a talented boxer from the slums of Puerto Rico. His career, while still young, has comprised of many accomplishments. His biggest accomplishment may be simply being who he is. Tito is a symbol of success for many of the people living in poverty in Puerto Rico, a true rags to riches story. Almost as impressive as Tito himself is the execution of this short doc. With only 17 minutes, director Angel Manuel Soto is able to depict the feelings of a nation. We can truly grasp how important Tito and his success are to Puerto Rico, and we feel invested in his story as well. 

The cinematography was nothing short of stunning in El Pugil, and the mixture of training footage overlapped with commentary is as good as you can hope for any documentary. However, it is odd seeing Tito’s story told in a short film, and truly leaves you wanting more of his story. I would have liked to have more backstory on his life, more details on who he was growing up and how he found boxing. You could say this is because his story is hard to tell in a short film, or you could say that El Pugil causes you to care about Tito as a person, which I certainly do.

All and all it was a beautiful told narrative, about an inspirational figure, in a part of the world that desperately needs it. This short was filmed in 2013, so I followed up, and Tito is on his way to fame, sporting a 13-0 record with all knockouts.

El Pugil is currently making the film festival rounds, starting with a screening at Tribeca Film Festival, and has some upcoming screenings they can’t yet announce, but be sure to follow them on Facebook to see where you can catch this film.


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