festival program / Documentary Achievement Award

Be Water


Bruce Lee became a 20th century icon for a handful of iconic kung fu movies made before his untimely death at age 32 in 1973. Be Water gives us a rich portrait of Lee's circuitous path to success, growing up in Hong Kong show business, restarting a career in America at the bottom rung, facing racial bias in Hollywood and returning to Hong Kong to reach his potential. The title "be water" refers to his philosophy of making one's way through the cracks. You may come for the virtuosos display of martial arts, but you'll leave with deepened respect for the battles Lee fought off the screen.

Event Dates

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Silverspot Cinema

Director Bio

Bao Nguyen is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles and Saigon. As the child of Vietnamese war refugees, he first pursued law to appease his parents but soon found his passion in film. He is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents and the Firelight Media Documentary Lab. He earned his BA at New York University and his MFA at the School of Visual Arts. His directorial debut, Live from New York!(15), opened the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

Cast & Credits

  • Director(s)
    Bao Nguyen
  • Producer(s)
    Jenna Anthony, Marquis Daisy, Gentry Kirby, Kristen Lappas, Adam Neuhaus, Bao Nguyen, Julia Nottingham
  • Cinematographer(s)
    Caleb Heller
  • Composer
    Goh Nakamura, An Ton That
  • Cast
    Linda Lee Cadwell, Shannon Lee, Robert Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dan Inosanto, Andre Morgan

Film Info

  • Year
  • Category
  • Country
    United States, United Kingdom
  • Run-Time
    104 min
  • Language
    English, Chinese
  • Subtitles