Cast: Kali Reis, Tiffany Chu
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, 2021 Tribeca Film Festival
Boxer Kaylee’s been training for the fight of her life, every punch growing more agile and ferocious than the last. This time, the fight won’t be in the ring. Kaylee’s got word that her sister Weeta, missing for two years, was abducted by human traffickers. And so Kaylee’s new training regimen includes sparring with men much bigger than her, and sleeping with a blade stashed in her mouth. The enemy is unknown, so she trains in the dark, shadowboxing the life she’s leaving behind her: a thankless waitressing job, a mom who’s turned her back on her. With every reason to fear for her life and safety, Kaylee decides to follow her sister’s footsteps, toward the other side of mysterious vans and shady motels. It’s time to save Weeta.
CATCH THE FAIR ONE is the unique collaboration between Polish Japanese American director Josef Kubota Wladyka and Native writer and star Kali “K.O.” Reis, herself a WBA super lightweight champion. A spokesperson for missing Indigenous women, Reis injects stories and emotions accumulated over years of activism, while embodying a powerful counterweight: the ferocity of a determined Native woman refusing to be made invisible.
Wladyka is a formidable partner, pairing Reis against industry veterans and up-and-comers like Tiffany Chu (Ms. Purple). The storytelling deftly shifts from dark corner to dark corner; Wladyka refuses to over-explain, over-sexualize, or over-narrate, relying on expressions and bodies rather than dialogue to land the big narrative blows. When it does, CATCH THE FAIR ONE is a knockout, a gripping drama of physical and emotional tenacity in the face of society’s worst.
Sunday, October 31, 2021