By Don Simpson | November 11, 2011
Director: Sebastian Dehnhardt
Six-foot-six Ukrainian brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko moved to Germany to begin careers in heavyweight boxing in 1996. After a 15-year reign over the ring, the brothers made boxing history in 2008 by becoming the first brothers in the sport to simultaneously hold world titles. It is like Rocky Balboa’s Cold War nightmare finally came true: two unbeatable Russian boxers. It goes without saying that Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are exceptional boxers; but both men have also blossomed into cultural icons and role models, not just in their native Ukraine but around the entire world.
The Klitschkos approach boxing like a cold and calculated game, one that is not all that different from a chess match (a visual metaphor German director Sebastian Dehnhardt does not shy away from). Their ambition is endless — while Wladimir hopes to dominate Heavy Weight Boxing for at least another five years, Vitali dreams of becoming the President of Ukraine — and Dehnhardt utilizes archival footage, candid interviews (with their parents, trainers, and high profile opponents) and heavy-hitting boxing footage to delve deeper within these smart and endearing gentlemen of boxing (the brothers have each earned a PhD and are fluent in four languages).
Dehnhardt’s Klitschko showcases the socialist childhood of the brothers — growing up on countless Soviet military bases during the Cold War and the devastatingly personal impact that the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster had on them — then follows their collective journey through life, relocating from Germany to the United States then back to Europe again for their meteoric rise to international boxing super-stardom.