Guest expat Kiwi filmmaker Heath Cozens presents his provocative documentary about members of a Tokyo fight club where the disabled enter the ring to battle each other and the able-bodied.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
“In a renegade Tokyo pro-wrestling league, the disabled battle the able-bodied in the name of smashing stereotypes. A paraplegic husband fights his wife. The handicapped champ pummels his mentor. But this is no freak show. In Doglegs, we witness a radical reclamation of labels and identities taking place in the ring. The wrestlers don’t define themselves according to their disabilities, instead one identifies as a ‘drunk cross-dresser’ while another lays claim to ‘loser’.
Some want to be seen as invulnerable and vicious, while others look for the opposite reaction. Doglegs is a confrontational, complex and provocative film that takes potentially offensive and outrageous subject matter and re-frames it, empowering the kick-ass characters to speak for themselves. They brawl – literally and figuratively – in an active, self-determined way that would never fly in society, and beat the living prejudice out of all challengers.” — Angie Driscoll, Hot Docs
“I discovered that I had preconceptions and prejudices – politically correct prejudices. So I hope that people can avoid a knee-jerk reaction to the controversial topic of the film and allow themselves to go on a ride with me.” — Heath Cozens, Wall St Journal
Expat New Zealand filmmaker Heath Cozens lived in Japan for 18 years. He attends NZIFF screenings with funding assistance from the Japan Foundation.