Legend of a Warrior (Un Guerrier Légendaire) 2012
Distributed by National Film Board of Canada, 1123 Broadway, Suite 307, New York, NY 10010; 800-542-2164
Produced by Susan Bristow, Corey Lee and Bonnie Thompson
Directed by Corey Lee
DVD , color, 88 min.
Jr. High - General Adult
Biography, Family Relations, Sports
Date Entered: 11/01/2013Reviewed by Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State University Libraries, Bowling Green, OH
Forty-two year old Corey Lee, estranged son of legendary Chinese Canadian mixed martial arts (MMA) master Frank Lee, decides to explore his mixed racial heritage by getting to know his father better. After twenty-six years of separation from his father and a twenty-six year training lapse, Ontario resident Corey convinces his father Frank to supervise the resumption of Corey’s MMA training at Frank Lee’s Muay-Thai Kickboxing and MMA facility in Edmonton, Alberta. Part of the twenty-six year separation involved Frank’s kickboxing and fighting in Bangkok and Alberta, and subsequent training of fellow Hong Kong native Billy Chau as world kickboxing champion while Frank established a worldwide network of MMA facilities. Corey’s aim in resuming his training was to understand his father and his Chinese heritage by mastering MMA fighting, thus fully entering Frank Lee’s world of martial arts.
As Corey trains, he discovers a need to return to Frank’s Hong Kong ghetto origins in order to fully understand his father’s transition from the ghetto to his early career as bouncer and bar-fighting peace keeper in western Canada. During the filming in Hong Kong, Frank reveals the depth of the personal disappointment that the divorce of Corey’s mother had on his aims for his family during the building of his martial arts empire.
This video is recommended as an exploration of the Chinese Canadian mixed racial heritage and mixed racial heritage in general. Since Corey was separated from his father for such a lengthy time, he was raised Canadian and was unable to choose a personal path between his Canadian heritage and the Chinese heritage he was equally entitled to claim. Much to Corey’s credit, he was able to explore his Chinese heritage during the creation of this film. Generally left unexplored was any notion of prejudice that may affect Chinese Canadians, perhaps an excellent subject for future films from the National Film Board of Canada.