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T-REX (#HotDocs15 Review)


Directed by Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper

At just seventeen-years-old, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields is one of the best female boxers on the planet. The unbeaten Shields lives in an impoverished neighborhood in Flint, Michigan, and when not at school, spends her time training at the gym.  She knows that she is the best, and for this reason Shields sets her sights on the gold medal at London’s 2012 Olympic Games. The 2012 Olympics were the first to include women’s boxing, and in winning the gold metal Shields would make history. T-REX chronicles Shields’ life from training, to Olympics, and beyond.


Like last year’s feature film FOXCATCHER, T-REX provides a look into the lives of Olympic fighters, and the lack of care provided for them between the four years of the Summer Olympics. Directors, Zachary Canepari and Drea Cooper use a visual style usually found in sports movies, which makes the fighting sequences so intense, that they almost seem staged. Audiences will cheer as Shields wins and sigh when she loses. The film is quite intimate, exploring Shields’ vulnerabilities and her issues with her family. This brings the viewer even closer to Shields, making her possible victory even more important. T-REX is a fascinating look at the life of an extremely gifted Olympian and the struggles that follow her. Like Claressa’s coach, audiences will find themselves cheering “T-Rex!”

4 sheep

T-REX had its International Premiere at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival as part of the World Showcase program.

Remaining Screening Schedule …

Saturday, May 2, 2:00 PM, Fox Theatre

For more information and for tickets, please visit

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give T-Rex?


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