Afropunk announces a forthcoming film by Lenny Abrahamson, based on the book A Man’s World: the Double Life of Emile Griffith. It tells the story of Emile Griffith, a professional boxer from the U.S. Virgin Islands who became a world champion in the welterweight and middleweight classes, and who was open about his bisexuality. Afropunk writes:
[. . .] But as you can imagine, not everyone was open and supportive of Griffith. In a 1962 title match with Benny Paret, Paret assaulted Griffith by touching his butt while making homophobic remarks. Griffith won the bout by knockout, and Paret, who was still recovering from other injuries from his previous three fights leading up to the title match, never regained consciousness and died in the hospital 10 days later.
A new film directed by Lenny Abrahamson, who is best known for the comedy “Frank” and the Oscar-contender “Room” will explore Griffith’s enigmatic life, based on the book, “A Man’s World: the Double Life of Emile Griffith” by Donald McRae.
“It is so rich that it’s hard to know where to start,” Abrahamson told Deadline. “As a character study, Griffith is incredibly compelling. There was a gentleness and innocence about him, and he never seemed conflicted about his sexuality; indeed he found joy in it. He inhabited two worlds – the underground gay scene in New York in the 60s and the macho world of boxing. The societal stigma at that time was dreadful and created a crushing pressure on him.” Griffith died in 2013 at age 75.