Hot Docs: Last Woman Standing – Lorraine Price and Juliet Lammers


The film opens with three important facts. Women’s Boxing has been added as an official medal event at the 2012 Olympics for the first time in history. The world’s two best female boxers reside in Canada. Only one can be selected to compete for Olympic gold.
All that in itself would make for a captivating story, but a forth additional fact is what gives Last Woman Standing its true power and emotional heart: the two best female boxers in the world are also the best of friends.

Having competed as amateur boxers for years in different weight classes, Ariane Fortin of Quebec and Mary Spencer of Ontario have taken the international boxing world by storm, winning titles, trophies and medals across the global stage. The moment the Olympic committee announces women’s boxing as an event, both girls have nothing short of gold in mind. Until they find out that only three weight classes will be entered, and only one woman from each class will be allowed to compete per country. Suddenly, Fortin and Spencer find themselves having to battle one another for Canada’s top spot on the road to 2012, and the only way to do that is to put their friendship on hold, and face each other as the fierce competitors that they are.

Both women are remarkably candid throghout their experience, and as one who has long been critical about how Canada treats its atheletes versus, say, our neighbours to the south, the film brought up an almost overwhelming frustration in me. Having to watch these two incredible women battle one another and the system itself (after a certain match, boxing Canada through all the support of its Own The Podium program behind the one competitor that they felt had the best chance of going all the way, and putting a severe handicap on the other in comparison) while both passionately chase their Olympic dream might have been a difficult task, were it not for the sensitive way the directors handled their subject matter, and the enigmatic nature of the women themselves. Their passion, drive, intelligence and humour shines through in every frame of the film, and makes Last Women Standing an immediate joy to behold.

Last Woman Standing is screening as part of the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto:
Sun, Apr 28 at 12:30pm
Fri, May 3 at 1:30pm

Check out more information at the film’s official site, and on their Facebook page.