ESPN will likely be releasing Bao Nguyen’s 30 for 30 Bruce Lee documentary entitled Be Water on June seventh, after the movie world premiered to nice acclaim on the 2020 Sundance Movie Competition. The newest event when audiences noticed Lee on the large display was in Quentin Tarantino’s As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood, which got here below criticism for portraying the actor as a useless braggart. Doing an interview with Uproxx, Nguyen shared his ideas on Tarantino’s tackle Lee.
“I am torn. As a filmmaker, I’d by no means need to sort of inform one other filmmaker what sort of movie they need to make or self censor themselves in any method. My dad and mom got here from a communist regime in Vietnam the place there’s nonetheless numerous censorship by way of movie and tradition. So yeah, I do not choose on that. That is clearly a fictionalized Tarantino model of Bruce Lee and ours may be very completely different. It is a documentary. It is a extra humanistic form of an entire view of who Bruce Lee was as an individual. And I feel it is a part of the bigger dialog that we have to have as artists on how we determine to depict, very true to life characters, and what obligations now we have.”
In As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt’s character Cliff Sales space takes on Bruce Lee on the units of The Inexperienced Horne early within the movie. After Lee makes grandiose statements about his preventing ability, the 2 have a sparring contest that ends in a draw. The crew of the film has even acknowledged Tarantino initially needed to point out Sales space defeating Lee, which Brad Pitt and the remainder of the workforce had been uncomfortable with. Nguyen believes Tarantino’s coronary heart is in the appropriate place, however taking a legendary real-life determine like Lee and turning him right into a detrimental fictional character hurts the late actor’s contributions to cinema.
“Everybody has their very own sort of set of accountability, their understandings of what they should carry to the concepts of illustration. So I feel realizing the place it is coming from – and once more, as you stated, Quentin Tarantino is a big advocate for Asian cinema and Bruce Lee and I do not suppose it got here from a foul place. however I feel generally now we have to consider the accountability of how we symbolize, particularly characters of colour on display and movie.”
“If we take into consideration sort of the bigger context of cinema as a mainstream Hollywood movie, that is sort of a milestone of how an Asian American is portrayed in 2019 by sort of this kind of model of Bruce Lee. So, I feel it is all essential to consider in context, however I by no means criticized his alternative as a filmmaker, his inventive alternative, however now we have to delineate between what’s the extra trustworthy and genuine story of who Bruce Lee was in comparison with a fictionalized model.”
The documentary Be Water premieres Sunday, June seventh on ESPN at 9 pm EST. It takes an in depth at Lee from his early days in China to his Hollywood ascent and his position in elevating the profile of Asian-Individuals in Hollywood. This comes from Uproxx.