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Film Screening: Never Be a Punching Bag for Nobody

June 24, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm


Please join us at the ZUMIX Firehouse for a special screening (65 mins.) followed by a Q&A with Naomi Yang and Sal Bartolo, Jr.

Never Be a Punching Bag for Nobody is an award-winning documentary film by Naomi Yang.  It recently won Special Jury Prize for Documentary at the IFFB (International Film Festival Boston).

Naomi Yang, a Boston filmmaker and musician, achieves a quintessential documentary task. Her film examines a seemingly quotidian subject and not only finds it to be a key to local, social, and cultural history but also a way to look deeply into her own life.”
– Peter Keough (Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, ArtsFuse)

The Q&A will be moderated by Joyce Linehan, a longtime friend of Naomi Yang and ZUMIX Co-Founder, Madeleine Steczynski.

Joyce is Assistant to the President for Special Projects at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and teaches in the Public Administration program at UMass Boston. She was Chief of Policy and Planning for former Boston mayor Marty Walsh, founded a PR firm, and managed rock bands and a record label. She was born and lives in Dorchester.

The film is an affecting portrait of an East Boston boxing gym and the forgotten history of its surrounding neighborhood, alongside an exploration of Yang’s own fraught family history.

The film weaves together three stories: colorful boxing coach and ex-drill sergeant Sal Bartolo Jr., son of a renowned 1940s East Boston boxing champ; Yang herself, learning boxing from trainer Bartolo and reexamining some of her own family’s disturbing history; and schoolteacher Mary Ellen Welch, who in the 1960s mobilized a group of neighborhood women against encroachment from Logan airport, fighting back against an indifferent city government.

Written, directed and photographed by: Naomi Yang
Sound design by: Ian Coss
Original soundtrack by: Naomi Yang (available from Bandcamp and all other streaming services.)

Tickets: $20 (free for youth under 18)

*All proceeds will benefit ZUMIX to help us continue empowering youth.


June 24, 2023
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm


260 Sumner Street
Boston, MA 02128 United States
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