Popularly dubbed “The Klitschko Brothers”, Ukrainians Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko have dominated the heavyweight boxing division since Lennox Lewis retired in 2004. However, their production of an autobiographical documentary film entitled Klitschko (watch the trailer here), as well as the political ambitions of the elder brother, Vitali, demonstrate that these men are more than athletes.
On June 21 of this year, Nothing But The Doc Blog announced that Klitschko would be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. It also alluded to a famous boxing figure in cinema history, Rocky Balboa's Soviet nemesis, Ivan Drago:
[…] Corinth Releasing has announced a theatrical release date for Tribeca Film Festival premiere “Klitschko.” It will open at NYC’s Cinema Village on October 21 with an LA opening later in the month. Directed by Sebastian Dehnhardt, the doc tells the story of Ukrainian boxers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, best known for being the first brothers to hold world titles in the sport at the same time. The press release makes it sound like these guys are real life versions of Dolph Lundgren’s character in “Rocky IV.” And like Lundgren, the Klitschkos are smarter than you’d expect, both brothers have a PhD. […]
Moviefone Blog included Klitschko in their list of “31 Reasons to Buy a Movie Ticket in October”:
[…] Hey remember that sport heavyweight boxing? It still exists! And there is even a current boxing champion — one Wladmir Klitscko. Well, him and his brother, Vitali (who is also a boxer), are getting their own documentary, ingeniously titled, ‘Klitschko.’ It will help you rediscover your inner Rocky (or, for that matter, inner Ivan Drago).
Although the Klitschko brothers virtually never fight in the United States, they utilize the U.S. media outlets to promote their film, which will debut in New York on Oct. 21, 2011. Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko Blog posted a video of the brothers talking about the documentary on NBC:
Heavyweight champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko were recently on NBC promoting their new documentary, and each discuss parts of the documentary and some things about themselves such as their language ability and political activism etc.
The interview, which was conducted in English, mentioned that both Vitali and Wladimir have Ph.D.'s in Sports Science and that they both speak several languages. They discussed, along with Vitali's political ambitions, their parents and how they promised their mother that they would never fight each other. Without prompting, the brothers made the connection between the Chernobyl disaster and the problem Japan currently faces combating radiation. The film is said to illustrate how the 1986 nuclear accident in Chernobyl claimed the life of their father.
Colin Linneweber described on his blog on FanNation.com the death of the Klitschko father in July 2011:
Former Soviet Union air force colonel Wladimir Rodionovich Klitschko, the proud father of legendary heavyweight champions Vitali and Wladimir, succumbed to a long battle with lymph node cancer last week at 65 in Kiev, Ukraine.
The decorated patriarch of the Klitschko clan was stationed near Chernobyl during the 1986 nuclear disaster and helped cleanup the reactor's meltdown. […]
In May 2008, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko Blog discussed Vitali's failed mayoral race before reminding the audience that Vitali intended to stay in the public spotlight through his boxing career:
With exit poll results, Vitali Klitschko did not win the 2008 Kiev mayoral election. The exit polls show that he came in 3rd with about 19 percent of the vote. The winner was incumbent Leonid Chernovetsky with about 30 percent of the vote. Official results will not be expected before Monday.
It would have been nice for Vitali to win this election. It would have also been nice for a mayor of a major city to fight for the WBC title. But, with the election out of the way and not as many obligations outside of boxing, we should expect to see Vitali at his best come the end of the year for his fight for the WBC championship.
So, condolences to Vitali on his loss in the election, but good luck and an early congratulations to Vitali on his WBC championship fight!
The Klitschko Brothers have also utilized both Twitter and Facebook to promote the film.
On their Twitter account, Klitschko News, they again mention the NBC interview:
Vitali and Wladimir talking about the “Klitschko” movie on NBC California fb.me/Z7JneiSB
On October 7, Twitter's Klitschko News linked to their new Facebook Fan Page.
Welcome to all new Klitschko fans on our official Facebook fanpage! A few pages have been united. Here you will [get the latest information about the brothers!] fb.me/125v0LPjj
The Klitschko Fan Page on Facebook includes dozens of comments pertaining to the documentary, the vast majority of which are positive. Many are surprised at the humanity the boxers display. The Facebook comments also reflect the strong sense of internationalism the film emits.
Here are some of them:
Anjeli Jana: I loved seeing this on my local morning news – I just wanted to give Wlad a great big hug when I saw his face when he starts talking about losing his father
David Klimov: I watched this movie in German, with Polish subtitles…even though I don't speak German nor Polish, the film was awesome! Cool documentary! They should have it released here, in USA! And when is the sequel coming out?
Akos Szegedi: That movie is very usefull for the next boxer generation…also to my little sons.Thanx fot it. Greatings from Hungary.
William Perrigo: The movie was great! But you can't expect it to be like James Bond. It's a documentary!
It seems that the release of Klitschko is another example of the brothers pursuing different avenues in order to expand their influence. As a tribute to how far they have risen,a commenter on BoxingScene.com portal observed:
Klitschko brothers have got to be two of the most statistically improbable people on the planet.