Eat Your Enemy

Eline Flipse Long documentary - 2005 - 82 min.

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From a personal interest in the nature of aggression and fighting spirit, director Eline Flipse interviews and films practitioners of different martial arts, from kickboxing to kung fu. She follows them during workouts and bouts, also abroad: a former karate champion travels to China and a swordfighter to Japan, both to visit admired masters. `Martial art is something cultural', the Chinese master says. `Fighting only consists of barbaric moves. That is for riffraff.' This is why Jan Geyteman and Wim Keyl try to use martial art to keep youngsters on the rails. But martial art does not bring universal happiness. `I'm a kind of robot', professional kickboxer Vincent Vielvoye comments. His mother says he gets one year older with every bout. And a candid former martial artist describes the role that the sport, with its emphasis on self-control, played when his ex-girlfriend was killed. `You might say that I've reached the highest level of self-control.'

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Netherlands