Judo Girl is a short film inspired by the life of Jujitsu and Judo martial artist Cara Parmigiani, who plays the lead role in the film. Shot in stunning color on the RED ONE camera, this indie gem is not to be missed.
Jules is the only girl on her high school Judo team. Sidelined with an injury, she's forbidden to even practice. She discovers a way to get to the competition, but it requires fighting her way through her toughest opponents. 21min
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This movie bothered me greatly on many levels. First and foremost, I believe it is a misrepresentation of what it means to be a Judoka and paints the martial art of Judo (Gentle Way) in a negative light. The main character is irreverent and arrogant, forcing her will upon others, elevating the importance of her journey above others. This is in direct opposition to the teachings of Jigoro Kano Shihan and twists what Judo is supposed to be. It isn't a "fighting style", rather, it's supposed to be a way of life. There were two major principals Jigoro Kano Shihan defined as the core foundation of Judo: 1. Maximum efficiency and 2. Mutual benefit and welfare for all.
The relationship between Sensei and Judoka, Tori and Uke is so important that no one who is serious about the art form would consider being arrogant or endanger someone else to achieve a goal. You see, Judo isn't just about physical fitness or fighting prowess but mostly about good upstanding moral character! A Judoka achieving the level of Sankyu, Nikyu or Ikyu would never disobey their sensei! A Judoka attempting to obtain the rain of Shodan would never lie or forge a signature to participate in a tournament.
Say what you will about the acting, writing, directing or production values... but my problem isn't with any of those, it's how this movie skews the image of Judo and what Jigoro Kano Shihan was attempting to share with the world. A humble, peaceful mindset that is ready at a moments notice to protect and defend, anyone and everyone!
Minor nit picks:
- Judoka don't shadow box, as there is no striking in Judo.
- Judoka don't throw one another out a window as it might harm someone else, be it the person thrown or the person they might land on.
- "I have to compete, I want my black belt, I deserve it" runs out of the dojo when corrected.
- Anyone in Judo knows, if you run at your opponent in anger, you will get thrown not succeed in throwing your opponent.
- No Sensei would reward an irreverent student with what they shamefully and persistently desired.