Shô Miyake’s powerful adaptation of Keiko Ogasawara’s memoir Makenaide! is a tender and meditative examination of both human fragility but also human resistance, set during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Filmed on gorgeous 16mm, the film follows Keiko (Yukino Kishii), a Deaf amateur boxer, as she trains for her upcoming fights in Tokyo. A hotel cleaner by day, Keiko trains each evening with her mentor in his boxing club. But when he falls ill, this, along with the impact of the pandemic, threatens the club with closure. As Keiko’s daily challenges begin to mount up, she finds herself rocked, as the solace and sense of herself she has established through boxing is now jeopardised.
‘Small, Slow But Steady is one of the first great pandemic movies not only because it dramatizes some very familiar pandemic struggles, but also because it reflects the lessons about mutual support and communal perseverance that we should be taking from them’Pat Brown, Slant Magazine
‘Unassuming gem...achingly moving, as the film adopts a holistic perspective in which past victories count for as much as any future ones.’Guy Lodge, Variety