Film review: Legend of a Warrior

Legend of a Warrior follows filmmaker Corey Lee on his journey to reconnect with his father, the legendary Sifu Frank Lee aka Grandmaster of crane kung fu fighting style and owner of the Frank Lee Martial Arts gym in Edmonton.  Using graphic illustrations and archival photos, Corey paints an animated historical picture of his dad’s early beginnings as a Hong Kong immigrant in Canada.  Leaving his own son for 6 weeks, Corey decides to train once again as a way to discover who his father is.  While sparring with Frank’s students, Corey is once again reminded of the individuals who have the close relationships with his father that he always wished he had.  Over the years, Frank has created a devoted fans and loyal disciples, even training the once-famous Hong Kong fighter/actor Billy Chau.  Amidst all this fame and glory, as with many other Asian patriarchal figures, it is clear that Frank’s personal life has been the ultimate sacrifice.  Legend of a Warrior is a story of familial love, bravery and finding the way back home.  In one scene, Frank says to his son Corey, “You don’t know your dad is Superman”.  Frank is Superman indeed.  At 70 years old, he is better shape than most 20 something year olds I know.  On the other hand, Corey is all too familiar with Superman.  It is Clark Kent that he wishes he had known.

Legend of a Warrior opened on April 30 and will be screening again on May 3, 1:30PM at ROM and May 4, 4:00PM at Bader.  Watch the trailer here.

This year’s Hot Docs includes a stellar line up of Asian docs!  You can check our complete picks here.  Hot Docs continues until May 6, 2012.