“Transcends easy categorization… sharp enough to warrant mainstream action… likely to gather a cult following.”    - Ken Eisner,  Variety 

“Compelling and beautifully photographed…  boxing hasn’t been shown this creatively on screen since Raging Bull.”

- Hannah Brown, New York Post

“A perfect film… blows away stereotypes.”     - Vancouver Sun  (4 stars) 


“This is one euphoric, hopped-up film that delivers the body shots...a visceral experience of boxing that dives right into these women’s arteries and through their hearts, pumping back out through their fists.  Shadow Boxers never lets up.”      

- B. Ruby Rich, The San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Lucia Rijker makes Shadow Boxers hum with her charismatic presence and single-minded desire to win. And here, the film form is equal to its subject. Shadow Boxers is a hopped-up film, full of images that shift and mutate from take-no-prisoner colour to grainy black and white. The camerawork is expressive and light on its feet, close up and intimate, subjective as hell. The editing (by director Katya Bankowsky, a boxer herself) owes a debt to music video, for sure, as it restlessly propels the viewer smack into the adrenaline-drenched, rugged, euphoric scene of women's boxing. Rijker is the real thing, a champion, just like the stars of the other films, but with more wattage to her smile and more moves to her name. Women boxers are hooked on boxing. Shadow Boxers shows us why, and hooks us too, and never lets up.”   Sight and Sound

“I hate boxing, men or women boxing… I am as surprised as anyone to discover a brilliant new documentary on this new women’s sport.”

- Alex Scudder,  American Dreamer 


“Bankowsky shoots and edits with poetic beauty.”

- Shawn Levy, The Oregonian 

“Bankowsky shows a remarkably sure hand and sensitivity toward the subject matter that’s rarely seen in boxing documentaries.”

- Wm. Steven Humphrey, Portland Mercury

“Witty, captivating and thoughtful.”        - The Hollywood Reporter 


“Savvy and unflinching”

- Jack Matthews,  New York Daily News    (3 Stars)


“Gorgeously produced and passionately convincing…Shadow Boxers is smartly designed to be viewed by non-boxing fans… Next year’s documentary nominees for the Oscar should include Shadow Boxers.” 

- Katherine Dunn, novelist and writer for New York Times Magazine

“A winning portrait of a winner…Bankowsky has made a film as graceful and thoughtful as Rijker.”

-  Los Angeles Times 

“A real life knock-out”       - David Lamble, Bay Area Reporter

“Shadow Boxers is absolutely a crossover hit-to-be. In short, Bankowsky does for boxing what Hemingway did for bullfights.” 

- Lisa J. Curtis, The Brooklyn Papers

“The way Lucia Rijker is photographed in Shadow Boxers makes her look as gorgeous as Ava Gardner- and a better bet to take Mike Tyson than Will Smith ever was.”

- Tim Carson,   Esquire

“Lucia Rijker is the most charismatic fighter of either sex since the days of Sugar Ray Leonard.”       

- Toronto Globe and Mail

“I can’t front.  I wasn’t feeling the idea of going to see a movie about women boxers. Gritty and unapologetic…  Shadow Boxers is so empowering that this writer found herself feeling she owed these women a big apology.”

- Kinyetta Jones,  The Source Sports

“Shadow Boxers is as smooth and powerfully packed as its protagonist.” 

- Amy Taubin, The Village Voice 

“Beautifully shot and edited, Shadow Boxers stands as one of the best boxing films you’re likely to see.”

- Willamette Week

“Bankowsky’s first feature is a model of engaged documentary-making…a bell-clanging winner.”

- The Vancouver Courier  (3 stars)

“Lucia Rijker…is liquid steel…Stylishly edited and photographed, Shadow Boxers treats female prizefighters with respect, never questioning their femininity or viability as athletes. Bankowsky’s tight focus on boxing and its psychological metaphors is always compelling.

-Edward Guthmann, The San Francisco Chronicle


“The importance of attitude…of maintaining a feeling of emotional and physical self-mastery under extreme stress…is brought home in Shadow Boxers, Katya Bankowsky’s upbeat documentary.”

 - Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Visually stunning…Bankowsky’s use of styles is both subtle and one-two fuck you. If you stay away from this film simply because you have no interest in boxing, you’ll miss the brilliance of a filmmaker who’d make physics interesting”.     

-  Colleen Van Tassell,  The New  Haven Advocate 

“This is truly a new kind of filmmaking.”

- Robyn Schiff,

“A subtle achievement in filmmaking that reaches far beyond the screen.”

- Katherine Monk, Vancouver Sun