THE GOOD FIGHT IN RIO’S Complexo do Alemão
08/12/2017 – Alan Duarte began boxing at the Fight for Peace Academy in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 17. After participating in his first competition, he fell in love with the sport and with the recognition he received from his friends. Today, 13 years later, he is a boxing coach and is running his own project -Abraço Campeão (Embracing Champions).
Inspired by what he learnt at Fight for Peace, and having seen his brother tragically murdered, Alan became determined to help children and young people avoid a life of crime and violence. Abraço Campeão was founded three years ago in the Complexo do Alemão favela in Rio de Janeiro, and Alan credits its growth to persistence, determination and the support of close friends.
The NGO supports 60 young people aged between seven and 29 years of age and, a year after its opening, was included in Fight for Peace’s Maré United programme, an initiative that builds a culture of understanding and peace by uniting young people across territorial divides.
“The name of the project is connected to the Fight for Peace value of Embracing which is all about the feeling of being accepted and belonging to a family. The Champion part of the name follows the desire to win, to strive and to want to become a champion. Through the project my aim is to help those living in my community receive the same benefits that I got, and I want to do this for as many people as possible,” explains Alan.
Through the desire to create an institutional film to promote Abraço Campeão, Alan teamed up with film director Ben Holman who had previously worked on a number of projects with Fight for Peace and who trained boxing with Alan. Ben saw in the footage he captured an opportunity to show the world the work done at the project.
With little equipment and few resources, Ben and his collaborators filmed what became The Good Fight. The short documentary has since been presented at ten international film festivals, winning five prizes including Best Short Documentary at the Tribeca festival in New York.