Ben Ratner stars and directs in the film short, Ganjy.
Ben Ratner stars and directs in the film short, Ganjy.

The aftermath of a boxing match is often bloody, but the aftermath of a boxing career can be tragic.

In Ganjy, writer and director Ben Ratner portrays the title character, a boxer who has suffered brain damage after having taken so many blows to the head. When his wife throws him out because of his erratic behavior, buddies from his past try to help get him out of the seedy hotel he finds himself in.

The juxtaposition of the macho bluster of the characters as they confront his weakness is what makes this film short so engrossing. The men look at him sideways and quickly glance away rather than face him directly, not wanting to see what may very well be their own mortality.

Ganjy is fueled by an amazing cast that includes Aleks Paunovic, Zak Santiago and Donny Lucas. The script contains rich detail that fleshes out history not only of Ganjy, but the friend’s relationships with each other.  The direction is assured and heartbreaking, and although the rope on the wall in the corner was a little on the nose, this rough yet tender film packs an emotional wallop that resonates.

Ganjy (Canada, 2016 | 14 minutes). Plays with Marrying the Family (Oct 2 & 8) at the Vancouver International Film Festival.