Executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, Wladyka’s drama begins in stress and hopelessness and then drives this terrifying mood to the maximum. Kaylee (Kali Reis) is a former boxer whose sister vanished without a trace on her way back from the gym. She works a thankless diner job and tries to keep her focus on the mat, repeatedly running gruelling self-defence moves. When she gets the chance to infiltrate a trafficking ring who might, or might not, have her sister, it is not a choice but a necessity. 

Catch the Fair One may begin in structure as a typical revenge thriller, but it becomes evident painfully early that Kaylee’s opponents are wholly evil and incalculably numerous. Find and dispatch one ringleader after a bloody struggle, and the path leads to the next. Violence is never an end for its own sake but it soon becomes clear to Kaylee and the audience that violence will not provide a clean, clear answer. Instead, it is the only tool for making a small dent of change, as the race against time escalates in increasing acts of desperation. The spare, pulsating sound design and stark backdrops – snow-covered train depots, floodlight parking lots – further emphasise Kaylee’s isolation in her quest, as would-be allies peel away into the shadows which hide (or transform) enemies. 

Reis (a real-life world champion welterweight boxer and advocate for Native rights, especially with MIssing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) proves a formidable screen presence in her assured physicality and magnetism. Her foes are banal, unremarkable, and all too common. 

Catch the Fair One’s unflinching brutality captures a reality too common for Indigenous American women, and Reis’ star-making turn is a knockout. The film struggles with the tone of its overwhelming, uncinematic tragedy but despite rough transition remains a difficult, worthwhile watch.  



CAST: Kali Reis, Lisa Emery, Tiffany Chu, Daniel Henshall 

DIRECTOR: Josef Kubota Wladyka

WRITER: Josef Kubota Wladyka

SYNOPSIS: A Native American former boxer, looking for a lead on her missing sister, joins a sex trafficking ring to exact revenge.