The Boxer is a short film about the courageousness of self-expression personified by Frank, both opera tenor and boxer.
battle with the self as revolution
The Boxer is part of the Dutch National Opera’s ‘You don’t know opera’ campaign, designed to draw in a new audience. Shot as a short film, director Ruben Van Leer takes tenor Frank Engel as his lead character based on his background also as a boxer. What is real and what’s not? Peter Grimes, music from one of the 20th Century’s most famous operas, is about an individual under attack from the collective. He needs to stand up for himself, as does Frank, who is battling himself. To overcome his fear and perform in the opera, tenor Frank Engel slides into his other self, the one where he is also a boxer. As he enters the stage and knocks himself out, he is finally able to star as the embattled protagonist in Peter Grimes. Featuring a poem written and voiced by the legendary Johnny BANG Reilly.
writer & director: Ruben Van Leer
cinematography: Paul Ozgur
filmmaker & media-artist