The caption on the screen read "Executive Producer" with the name "Metta World Peace" written underneath. Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace had mentioned that this was his film, but that hardly registered until his name scrolled onto the screen as the primary executive producer. Personally, I think writing only "World Peace" on the credits would look cooler, but it's his name.
Executive Producer World Peace helped create "When the Bell Rings," which is a critically acclaimed documentary film that follows former amateur boxer David "Dino" Wells on his comeback to the sport. With an amateur record of 67-13 with 36 KO's, the 40-year-old starts out the film with championship aspirations despite not having boxed in over 15 years. Immediately, those high hopes get literally knocked down when Wells enters the ring and spars with a younger fighter at a gym.
The brutality of boxing is impossible to miss in the footage of the 40-year-old acting as a punching bag for professionals nearly half his age. When Wells left boxing at age 25, he went into selling drugs and fell into the life of the streets on the South side of Chicago. He'd been shot, which greatly limited his ability inside the ring. Physically handicapped as a boxer and staggeringly out of shape, the film is about a man transforming physically to make a professional fight, but even more, it's about a man transforming his life to handle his responsibilities outside the ring.
"The story, a family story, [is about] a disconnect between a father and a son, which is happening a lot," World Peace explained why he chose to be involved with the film. "And then, that re-connection, which is hard. It's hard to reconnect with your family."
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World Peace added, "I thought [Wells' story] was the blueprint to reconnect with your family."
"When the Bell Rings" juxtaposes Wells' comeback to the ring with his comeback to fatherhood. On his journey, Wells loses 50 pounds but gains employment, contact with his son and a greater purpose. He moves to New Orleans in an attempt to reconnect with his son, and Wells' interactions with his offspring even trump the scenes of Wells in the gym or in the ring. Being a father is not easy, and Director Brad Bores manages to capture the determination and patience required to stage a boxing comeback at age 40 and places it perfectly alongside the struggle of going 12 rounds with a hyper adolescent begging for attention.
Judging by the long list of awards "When the Bell Rings" has claimed, Bores succeeded in his vision for the documentary film: Jury Award at New Orleans Film Festival; Jury Award at New Hampshire Film Festival; Jury Award at Niagara Film Festival; Audience Award at Mexico International Film Festival and more. The film drew praise from far and wide, apparently, and perhaps the executive producer of the film could help explain the message that's hitting home with audiences.
World Peace passionately proclaimed, "The overall message [of the film] is never give up on your family or your dreams."