Italy (80 mins, directors: Alessandro Cassigoli, Casey Kauffman)
In 2016, 18-year-old Irma 'The Butterfly' Testa became Italy's first ever woman boxer to compete in the Olympics. This is her story.

Growing up in one of the poorest, most violent parts of Naples, Irma defied the odds to win Olympic selection. But selection is only the first battle: Irma must train like she never has before, and what if it’s all for nothing? What is she giving up to make it happen? Can she handle the pressure of hers and others’ expectations? And if she doesn’t achieve her dream of a medal, what will that mean for her future?

Butterfly is an inspiring, humble film that follows Irma’s path to, and through, Rio. The young boxer’s complicated relationship with her chosen sport offers an extraordinary story with universal resonance, and with intimate access to both Irma and her 80-year-old trainer Lucio, directors Alessandro Cassigoli and Casey Kauffman deliver something more than your average sports documentary: in addition to questions about the price of sacrifice, personal identity and committing to a goal, the film also looks at issues of women’s participation in male-dominated worlds, mentorship roles, sport as salvation, and crime in Italy.


7 August 20191:30pmSofitel Melbourne On Collins AuditoriumPast event
13 August 201911:00amSofitel Melbourne On Collins AuditoriumPast event


Language: Italian, with English subtitles
Genre: Documentary
Classroom discussion points: Sacrifice, facing failure, finding strength, inspiration
Age suitability advice: Infrequent mild coarse language
MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 12+

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