Tribeca Film Festival: KASSIM THE DREAM


Kief Davidson, who won a Special Jury Award at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival for The Devil’s Miner, returns with the powerful story of Kassim “The Dream” Ouma. Many will recognize Kassim from when he became boxing’s junior middleweight world champion, but before he became a boxer, Kassim lived a life unimaginable to most.

Born in Uganda, Kassim was kidnapped by the rebel army and trained to be a child soldier at age six. Having been forced to commit horrific atrocities for 12 years, he found solace in the army’s boxing team.

Defecting to the United States and creating a life for himself while establishing his career, Kassim still had to deal with his demons and felt the need to reconnect with his family back in Uganda. But in order to go back to Uganda, he would need a military pardon from the president and protection from the government.

Davidson was given unprecedented access to Kassim during a pivotal time in his career. He paints a vivid and candid portrait of survival, balancing the story of Kassim’s life inside the ring and out. Kassim’s rise in the boxing world is extraordinary on its own, but it is the man in the gloves that gives the film its heart. Kassim is a likable man with a lively demeanor, but Davidson’s film is a multilayered emotional journey-even as Kassim lives out the American dream, you can see that he is haunted by his horrifying past.


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