I watched this documentary on Netflix last night, and found it very compelling.
Born and Bred is a feature-length documentary film chronicling the lives of a new generation of young boxers fighting for their place in the American boxing capital of Los Angeles, where Latino immigration is surging to a historical breaking point. At the heart of the film is the story of 15-year-old twin brothers in their last two years in the tough ranks of amateur boxing where boys are made into men and Olympic dreams are won and lost.
Shot over the course of four years, the film offers an inside look at the gritty boxing culture of East Los Angeles where there are more boxers than anywhere else in the country. The documentary is driven by the story of twin brothers Oscar and Javier Molina and their intense relationship with lifelong trainer, Robert Luna. The movie documents their last years fighting as kids and their entry in the men’s division of the sport as they clash with seasoned boxers.
Apart from the struggles in the ring, Born and Bred tells the stories of the boxers’ lives and family outside the sport: their parents harrowing journey across the U.S. border, their hopes for their kids, the larger story of the monumental immigration protests of 2006, the boys’ personal lives as teenagers, their difficulties and losses, their hopes and plans for the future as professional boxers and the deep belief in who they have been taught to become inside and outside the ring. The film reaches its climatic moments as their trainer pushes them to the edge of their abilities, inspiring them to fight as if their lives depend on it.
Born and Bred is truly a one-of-a-kind documentary film about growing up in the sport of sports amidst a historical fight for the heart of immigrant America.