Live From SXSW's Screening Room

GIRL WRESTLER

D: Diane Zander.

Documentary Feature Competition, World Premiere Tara O'Neal meets her hero, Olympic gold medalist Brandon Slay. He happily signs her T-shirt. But then he says he "doesn't believe" boys and girls should wrestle each other past high school. "OK, so I don't look up to him as much as I used to," she shrugs. Age 12 when this insightful doc began filming, Tara just wants to practice, compete, and push herself to the limit. But the paucity of female freestyle wrestlers has her stymied. Zander's camera follows Tara from club practice to a national championship, encountering sexism, pushy parents, and a preposterous state law that threatens to bench her permanently. Zander captures the nail-biting thrill of competition while speaking volumes about gender and sport, as well as the way parents invest their hopes in young athletes. The perspective is so intimate that Tara comes through as a down-to-earth kid who likes hanging out at the mall, has safety pins on her backpack, and became an unlikely but willing feminist exemplar. (CC, 3/15, 4pm)

-- Marrit Ingman

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Marrit Ingman
Wonder Stories
Wonder Stories
Books

July 25, 2008

King Corn
The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food, public health, and the reasons why corn has become an ingredient in virtually everything we eat.

Nov. 9, 2007

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle