I watched the SIFF film Fighter which was produced in 2007 in Copenhagen. Fighter was written and directed by Natasha Arthy and stars Xian Gao as the cryptic but wise kung fu master. The female lead in Fighter is played by the spunky and strong Semra Turan.
Fighter details a young Turkish girl’s struggle against her parents’ values and traditions in her fight to become a kung fu champion. After Aicha’s brother announces his advantageous engagement, Aicha’s parents forbid her from practicing kung fu, in order to preserve their family honor and force the engagement to continue. However, Aicha decides that instead of quitting kung fu, she wants to step up her game, so she joins a competitive kung fu club behind her parents’ backs. A battle of wills and traditions ensues with many twists and turns in the plot.
Fighter takes place in a poor area of urban Copenhagen; it showcases differences in cultures that occur in many European cities. Fighter uses a cool mixture of kung fu fighting and wire supported acrobatics, (although not to the extreme of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.) The costumes in the movie contrast casual Danish clothes with traditional Muslim clothes and functional kung fu Gis.
All of the actors are skillfully cast and work together to make the audience feel a part of the story. Semra Turan, (who plays Aicha) brings joy and excitement to the movie. Xian Gao, (who you might recognize from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) plays the enigmatic but always caring kung fu instructor. The kung fu doubles have awe inspiring skill and transform Fighter into an action flick.
Fighter is a fantastic movie that is truly unique and inspiring. I would highly recommend this movie to people of all ages. Fighter combines a drama and an action movie so it is also very entertaining for both men and women.
Reviewed at home, Sunday May 11, 2008
Seattle International Film Festival
Sunday, June 1st @ 1:30 p.m @ Uptown Cinema
Tuesday, June 3rd @ 7:00 @ Pacific Place Cinema
Did you see this movie? Leave a comment and tell everybody what you thought!