Challenged on the mat, in school, and at home, four Alabama high school wrestlers use humor and grit to fight for their future.

Wrestle fp
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
May 20, 2019
90 minutes
Headshot suzannah herbert

Suzannah Herbert

Originally from Memphis, TN, Suzannah Herbert is a documentary filmmaker. Her NYU Tisch senior thesis, Home Game, premiered at DOC NYC. Herbert was the Associate Producer on Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, directed by Shola Lynch, and has since worked as an Assistant Editor on Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next​ ​and Fahrenheit 11/9, and Show more Martin Scorsese's upcoming documentary, Rolling Thunder Revue​,​ about Bob Dylan’s pivotal 1975 tour. Herbert made her feature directorial debut with Wrestle, which won nine awards on the 2018 festival circuit. In 2019 Wrestle will be distributed theatrically by Oscilloscope and will be broadcast nationally on PBS as part of ITVS’s Independent Lens documentary series. Show less

Wrestle 3b headshot laurenbelfer suzannahherbert cropped

Lauren Belfer

Lauren Belfer is a producer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Most recently she line and field produced Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue: a Bob Dylan Story (Netflix 2019), and she has frequently collaborated with Michael Moore, having worked on Fahrenheit 11/9,Trumpland and the Oscar-shortlisted Where to Invade Next. Belfer produced the narrative feature After Louie(BFI 2017), starring Alan Cumming, and the documentary Hotline (Hot Docs 2014). Belfer’s directorial debut, Wrestle, garnered 9 awards on the festival circuit, including two audience awards and the Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary Film. In 2019, Wrestle will be released theatrically by Oscilloscope Laboratories and broadcast nationally on PBS as part of ITVS’s Independent Lens

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The Film

Four high school wrestlers and their no-holds-barred coach are undaunted by their low-performing school in Alabama. In addition to wrestling for the State championship and college scholarships, the largely African-American team wades into the complexities of race, class, and privilege in the South. Facing challenges that run the gamut from family trauma, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, mental health disorders, run-ins with law enforcement, and racial stereotypes within the wrestling world, the team perseveres. In the style of Hoop Dreams and Friday Night Lights, this documentary brings the viewer into the highlights and heartbreak of high school sports.