Film director Heath Cozens’ latest feature length project ‘Doglegs’, a documentary on Japan’s disabled wrestling league of the same name, has reached it’s Kickstarter goal of $18,000 with 12 days of the campaign left to go.
The words ‘disabled wrestling’ certainly leave a bad taste in your mouth, and has us wondering is it exploitation, or empowering Tokyo’s handicapped residents? But after 5 years of working on the film, Cozens has come out with a powerful piece that makes viewers think and look at ourselves and how we perceive those with disabilities. Doglegs in an ensemble piece, but revolves around janitor and Doglegs veteran, Shintaro, showing his life inside and outside the ring, his motivations and how he copes with day to day life.
Doglegs as an event has served as a place where the marginalised can express themselves and confront their demons for 20 years. With it’s door open to all contenders, from the depressed to the heavily disabled. No one attempts to hide their faults or imperfections, nor do they allow their disabilities to define them. Their tenacity, passion and black humour stands in fierce opposition to a society that refuses to treat them as equals.
Recently the film premiered at HotDocs, North America’s largest documentary festival, and so far has been met with a positive response from viewers and press. Though there is no word of an official release date just yet, you can pre-order your copy by donating to the Kickstarter.