Naomi Yang of Damon & Naomi and Galaxie 500 has made a new documentary titled Never Be a Punching Bag for Nobody, which is an "affecting portrait of an east Boston boxing gym and the forgotten history of its surrounding neighborhood, alongside an exploration of Yang’s own fraught family history." She wrote, directed, and photographed it, and here's a longer synopsis:
A neighborhood Boston boxing gym out by Logan Airport is the last place you’d expect to find musician Naomi Yang, but that’s where she’s been spending her time, learning boxing and making a feature-length documentary, Never Be A Punching Bag for Nobody. The film weaves together three stories: colorful boxing coach and ex-drill sergeant Sal Bartolo Jr., son of a renowned 1940s East Boston boxing champ; Yang herself, learning boxing from trainer Bartolo and reexamining some of her own family’s disturbing history; and schoolteacher Mary Ellen Welch, who in the 1960s mobilized a group of neighborhood women against encroachment from Logan airport, fighting back against an indifferent city government. None of these protagonists are destined to win the Big Fight, but all offer inspiration to anyone determined to stand up for themselves and hold their ground. Yang’s keen eye for portraiture, landscape, and forgotten local history creates an affecting and revelatory picture of a small patch of urban landscape most have only ever flown over.
Never Be a Punching Bag for Nobody will premiere at the Independent Film Festival Boston, where it will be the Centerpiece Documentary. That runs April 26 - May 3, and you can watch the trailer below.
Yang also composed the ethereal score which will be released April 21. Check out the main theme below as well: