BEST OF THE FEST: THE FENCER (Miekkailija)

, , | 2015 | 99 minutes | |
Directed by Klaus Härö

Wednesday October 11, 2017


$12 General Admission, $9 Member,
$7 child age 14 or younger
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening
Buy tickets at Film Center or online now BUY TICKETS

Directed by Klaus Härö

A young man, Endel Nelis, arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, in the early 1950s. Having left Leningrad to escape the secret police, he finds work as a teacher and founds a sports club for his students. Endel becomes a father figure to his students and starts teaching them his great passion – fencing, which causes a conflict with the school’s principal. Envious, the principal starts investigating Endel’s background… Endel learns to love the children and looks after them; most are orphans as a result of the Russian occupation. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression for the children and Endel becomes a role model. The children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, and Endel must make a choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first and disappoint them.

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“Throughout the film, Härö vividly captures a sense of the late Stalinist-era paranoia, as well as the drabness of Soviet life in general. It is also engaging on a human level. These are reserved people, but when they make a connection, it is meaningful.”--Joe Bendel, Epoch Times

“Suffused with gorgeous cinematography, this sharp-sweet drama is a pleasure to watch.”

– Kate Muir, The Times of London

“Well-acted, smoothly crafted.”

– Justin Chang, Variety

“An affecting portrait of a decent man who risks his life to uphold a bond of trust with his students.”

– Marilyn Ferdinand, Chicago Reader

Nominated--Best Motion Picture (Foreign Language), Golden Globes
Won--Best International Feature, St. Louis International Film Festival

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