Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2015
Country: JAPAN, USA
Run Time: 89 minutes


Tokyo, 1996—the cameras begin rolling as a small community of disabled individuals bands together to form a boxing league called Doglegs. Headed by Shintaro, an effervescent boxer who has never won a match, Doglegs participants range from nearly full-body paralysis to those living with autism, each and every one fighting together in the same league. The fights range from traditional boxing to mixed martial arts and even WWE-level theatrics as participants are tossed around the ring while the audience sits on edge. Shintaro’s long-time rival is Kitajima, known in the ring only as “Antithesis,” a burly boxer who is not disabled and is recognized for his willingness to brutally defeat Doglegs participants in showy displays of “honor.” This sets the stage for one of the most breathtaking documentaries in recent years as Heath Cozens' camera catches remarkable glimpses of life in present day Tokyo and the way in which respect, romance, and bias affect a marginalized community. Like the league it portrays, DOGLEGS is a totally indescribable knockout. (In Japanese with subtitles) –C.P.

CIFF40 Screenings

Friday, April 01, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Saturday, April 02, 2016 at 9:30 PM

Pan-Asian Films

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

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Filmmaker describes his film as funny, dangerous, shocking, and powerful

Heath Cozens

Heath Cozens, raised in New Zealand, graduated from the Victoria University of Wellington with a degree in Theater and Film. He spent 18 years in Japan and currently lives and works in New York City.

"Kiwi Tsunami" (2003), DOGLEGS (2015)

Heath Cozens

Heath Cozens

Heath Cozens, Andrea Mendoza

Film Contact
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