Extracts from the journal of Pastor John Deitman, Strathmoor, Georgia. June & July, 1927
The Pride of Strathmoor seems like something straight out of nightmares. Or in this case, straight out of a journal. A journal-like narrative that creator Einar Baldvin has been painfully putting together since he watched Scorsese’s Raging Bull for the first time in 2009. After deciding to make his next film about boxing, Einar took on boxing himself to learn more about the sport, which in turn became an addiction that lasted and overtook several years.
The ring is an extremely surreal place while inside it, the more intense the sparring is the more time and space get distorted and everything that dominates human interaction normally: Compassion & safety take second place to pure determination and survival. Everything outside the ring becomes both boring and easy. It’s like being an animal or a man from the past looking from the outside at how utterly boring society is. Violence is a powerful spell.
With time the narrative of the film grew and his inspirations gathered from different areas of his personal experiences. He was also a Bouncer for a period of time, and there was a lot of nastiness and violence involved that he thinks eventually found its way into the film.
The Pride of Strathmoor eventually became my thesis film as it grew more complicated all around, all my preparation came together in this story – it just all clicked at some point – all the research, all the violence and the obsession came together and gave birth to the character of Pastor John Deitman…The process had to become as obsessive as the training and the character represented – the film had to be that madman’s journal.
A film carried by passion, style and a complex narrative, simply swallows you into its mesmerizing hand-drawn action and shocking violences. Something to definitely watch over more than once, and we urge you to read Einar’s full in-depth interview with Rob Munday on sotw.