Since Castro’s Revolution, Cuba has won more Olympic gold medals in boxing than any other country in the world. Although this boxing powerhouse has more than 19,000 male boxers, female boxing is nonexistent on the island – the result of a ban on female boxing put into place after the revolution. Boxeadora follows Namibia, a Cuban woman who has been training in secret as a boxer for five years, hoping the government would lift its ban. Now 38, she only has two years left of boxing eligibility. Journey with Namibia as she tries to leave the island to follow her only dream: to compete as a boxer.
A Film By Meg Smaker
Meg Smaker, a documentary filmmaker, is also a competitive boxer. In late 2013, she traveled to Cuba to train as a boxer for an upcoming fight. Shortly after arriving in Havana, she discovered women were banned from the sport. This was a surprise, as Cuba has a rich sports culture and is a Communist country that preaches equality. Eventually Meg found a fight gym that would train her; there she met Namibia, the only female boxer in Cuba. Inspired by Namibia’s story, Meg made the documentary Boxeadora for her thesis film after returning to the U.S. to finish her graduate degree in documentary film at Stanford University.