Movie review of “T-Rex”: Claressa Shields, a member of Team USA Boxing in the 2016 Summer Olympics, is the subject of this documentary, which traces her difficult journey to a gold medal in 2012. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.

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With amateur boxer Claressa Shields’ participation in the 2016 Summer Olympics right around the corner, this is a good time to catch “T-Rex,” a touching documentary about the now-21-year-old athlete’s previous Olympic triumph.

Shields won the 2012 gold medal in women’s boxing, the first time the international competition recognized the sport. “T-Rex” follows her personal trials and determination during adolescence to overcome a hard life in Flint, Mich.

Besides economic distress, there are strong suggestions of problems at home. But troubles are shoved to the side whenever Shields, a fast and aggressive middleweight, is working in a gym with her coach, Jason Crutchfield. He insists his fighters take on a “business” mentality, letting go of disappointment and defeat and putting personal matters on indefinite hold. When Shields becomes involved with a boy who happens to be her sparring partner, Crutchfield sternly forbids it.

Movie Review ★★★  

‘T-Rex,’ a documentary directed by Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari. 90 minutes. Not rated; contains some language and boxing violence. Grand Illusion, through Thursday.

Filmmakers Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari overcome the film’s low-tech look with refreshing changes in camera angles and flexible visual strategies. When Shields goes to China for a pre-Olympics qualifying tournament, “T-Rex” (the title comes from her nickname) picks up adrenaline after the grimness of Flint. In London, for the Olympics, there are more cameras at work adding heightened drama and gloss.

It’s the aftermath of the gold-medal win that proves most compelling. Shields discovers being an African-American female boxer with some swagger does not draw endorsements. Tensions rise between her and Crutchfield. There’s even a scene where Shields accompanies her mother in paying a past-due water bill — in Flint.

“T-Rex” is ultimately about a remarkable (and likable) young person finding her personal power despite pressure from all sides.