A new trailer for the latest ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, Be Water, has now been released. The upcoming 30 for 30 documentary focusses on the martial arts and global cinematic legend, Bruce Lee, taking us from the beginnings of his career through to his rapid, wide-spread success.
Be Water finds Bruce Lee encountering racial stereotypes before deciding to move to Hong Kong, with a desire to carry out his vision of creating movies that celebrate martial arts and East Asian culture for the masses. You can read the movie’s official synopsis below.
In 1971, after being rejected by Hollywood, Bruce Lee returned to his parents’ homeland, Hong Kong. Over the next two years, he’d complete four iconic films that would define his legacy, a legacy cut short when he died, stunningly, in the summer of 1973. He was 32 years old.
Be Water is a gripping, fascinating, intimate look at not just those final, defining years of Lee’s life, but the complex, often difficult, and seismic journey that led to Lee’s ultimate emergence as a singular icon in the histories of film, martial arts, and even the connection between the eastern and western worlds.
The film chronicles Bruce Lee’s earliest days, as the son of a Chinese opera star born while his father was on tour in San Francisco, and then raised in Hong Kong over what became an at times troubled childhood. Sent to live in America at the age of 18, he began teaching Kung Fu in Seattle, and established a following that included his future wife, Linda. His ambition ever-rising, Lee eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where he strove to break into American film and television. There, despite some success as a fight choreographer and actor, it was clear Hollywood wasn’t ready for an Asian leading man – and so he returned to Hong Kong to make the films that would, in fact, make him a legend, his international star skyrocketing just as his life was cut short.
Be Water is told entirely by the family, friends, and collaborators who knew Bruce Lee best, with an extraordinary trove of archive film providing an evocative, immersive visual tapestry that captures Lee’s charisma, his passion, his philosophy, and the eternal beauty and wonder of his art.
While Bruce Lee died in 1972 at the age of 32, his legacy has fought on ever since. Lee not only transcended the martial arts world but the cinematic world too, becoming a part of the cultural zeitgeist and remaining there. His story continues to inspire and his movies continue to entertain all these decades later, and Be Water promises to be an emotional experience.
Be Water premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and has been directed by Bao Nguyen, a director who has previously explored similar themes of Hollywood, celebrity, tragedy, and Asian cultures in his documentary and short film work. Be Water comes in the wake of the Michael Jordan-centric documentary series The Last Dance, which proved to be a huge success for ESPN.
Bruce Lee 30 for 30: Be Water premieres on June 7 at 9 pm ET/PT on ESPN. This comes to us from ESPN.