Left Hook

The place is Portland, Oregon; the time, the early 1970s. A once-thriving African-American neighborhood has been irrevocably disrupted by urban renewal, as the construction of first a sports arena and then a freeway has forced many businesses to close and many residents to move. City planners now have a new, ambitious project in mind: a major expansion of a local hospital. As scores of additional homes and...
The place is Portland, Oregon; the time, the early 1970s. A once-thriving African-American neighborhood has been irrevocably disrupted by urban renewal, as the construction of first a sports arena and then a freeway has forced many businesses to close and many residents to move. City planners now have a new, ambitious project in mind: a major expansion of a local hospital. As scores of additional homes and stores are razed, people in the neighborhood grow increasingly angry about their loss of community and their powerlessness in the face of it. An exception to this widespread sense of frustration is Ty King, an ex-Army sergeant and the owner of the Left Hook Boxing Club, an establishment he inherited from his father. Where others see community disruption, Ty sees opportunity. Hoping to find lucrative work as the hospital expands and the neighborhood rebuilds, Ty uses all his savings to start a small construction company. Ty is dealing with other pressing matters as well, as his protegee Donnie, a young and promising boxer, prepares for an important upcoming bout. Donnie seems to be equally enthralled by the burgeoning Black Panther movement and Ty's seventeen year-old daughter Ava. Ty views both fascinations with great unease, as he sees himself losing control over much of what is central in his life. Events come to a boil when the city unexpectedly runs out of money and the planned hospital expansion is cancelled, Where once there were tidy homes and flourishing businesses, there are now dozens of empty lots, with no prospects for neighborhood rebuilding. As Ty's hopes for a better future are dashed, his frustrations focus on those closest to him.
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Left Hook

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
O'Neill Conference
,
2016