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The Real Shaolin (2008)

 -  Documentary  -  2008 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 59 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

Inspired by Kung Fu movies starring Jet Li and Bruce Lee, two Chinese and two Westerners journey to the Shaolin Temple in China, known as the birthplace of Kung Fu and Zen Buddhism, and ... See full summary »

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Inspired by Kung Fu movies starring Jet Li and Bruce Lee, two Chinese and two Westerners journey to the Shaolin Temple in China, known as the birthplace of Kung Fu and Zen Buddhism, and undergo a year of rigorous martial arts training in the hopes of becoming Kung Fu warriors. Written by Alexander Sebastien Lee

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2008 (USA)  »

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The Real Shaolin  »

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Eye-Opening and Highly Entertaining
6 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a true blood-and-sweat behind-the-scenes documentary of four aspiring martial artists training in extremely harsh conditions in the shadow of the Shaolin Temple. It's an insider's view of the martial arts industry in China. I have seen documentaries on the subject before but was surprised how much I enjoyed The Real Shaolin.

Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li would be proud of this film. We enjoy watching these amazing action stars on screen but we don't think about the years of training that they endured. In this documentary we follow four students training for the one in a million chance to be the next Jackie Chan. We also see what life is like for 90% of the 1.3 billion Chinese living in the countryside. It's tough! Rising at 5 am, eating a diet of rice soup and vegetables, and constantly being beaten by your instructors (except for foreigners). We got caught up in the emotional journey of the students very quickly. We saw their dreams crushed. We saw them rise to fight again. And in the end, there's no happy ending. Each student learned something about himself and moved on, just like in real life. I highly recommend The Real Shaolin. It's entertaining and eye-opening. You will appreciate martial art films much more after watching it.


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