If you watch They Fight, you'll most likely pray all through that the three young boys in the middle of it -- Peanut, Quincey and Twin -- end up OK. These lads are the stars not just of the documentary but of the Washington D.C. boxing program for at-risk young boys the film surveys. Hell, the ferocious Peanut is already a five-time champ.
But as they train to knock out fellow youngsters in the Junior Olympics, you may also find yourself worrying about their coaches, too. First, there is Coach Walt, a hard-working family man (he has a way-too-adorable little boy named Wop Wop) whose life mission is to keep these boys from not turning out like he did in his younger days of drug and jail time. Meanwhile, his assistant coach Scoop, who's also had trouble with drugs, is trying to get more guys out of the streets and into the ring. Together, they work to make this club a full-fledged, city-supported operation.
Stylishly directed by Andrew Renzi and produced by conscious rapper-extraordinaire Common, They Fight is another poignant, achingly hopeful look at inner-city youth looking for a way out of their dire surroundings, and the adults who want the same, for the kids and themselves. While some may see boxing as too violent and barbaric a sport for kids to attempt, I would rather see these young pugilists slap on gloves and dish out two-pieces then being caught up in D.C.'s mean streets. Trust me when I say you'll spend most of this movie thinking the same thing.