WITH THIS RING
Directed by Ameesha Joshi & Anna Sarkissian
“In the world of sports, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.” – Sarita Devi
There is an unknown, intricate world of women’s boxing within India. Gender discrimination is already prominent throughout the country, so there is no surprise that women’s boxing is looked down upon and is neglected by its people.
Starting their project in 2005, Ameesha Joshi and Anna Sarkissian captured over 200 hours of footage from various boxing events and interviews to narrate the stories of India’s best female boxers, Manipur natives Mary Kom and Sarita Devi, and Chhoto Loura. Filming in locations including Barbados, China, and the United Kingdom, viewers are taken to a whole new world they have never ventured to.
Looked down upon by their boxing male counterparts and traditional families, Mary, Sarita and Chhoto prove how successful they can be regardless of what society deems. Throughout their boxing matches, all have successfully placed in world championships, notably Mary Kom who is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the third woman in history to win an Olympic medal for India.
However, nobody would expect how intense this world can become. Through each boxer’s story, each decide to follow their own path while tension with politics arise. Favoritism is shown with Mary over Sarita when they compete to qualify for the Olympics. Chhoto ultimately decides to quit boxing because of these politics, but instead chooses to be a coach so she can still be surrounded by the boxing atmosphere.
WITH THIS RING shares the experiences each famed boxer has faced in the boxing ring, as it became a crucial part of their identities. From success stories, endeavors, conflicts, and tough decisions, Joshi and Sarkissian uncover this deep infrastructure of women’s boxing to bring viewers an inspirational and complex documentary.
Sreening made possible by: Sakhi for South Asian Women, Asian Women Giving Circle