12 user 56 critic

Miekkailija (2015)

1:44 | Trailer
Fleeing from the Russian secret police, a young Estonian fencer is forced to return to his homeland, where he becomes a physical education teacher at a local school. The past however catches up and puts him in front of a difficult choice.



Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Endel Nelis
Ursula Ratasepp ... Kadri
Hendrik Toompere Sr. ... Principal (as Hendrik Toompere)
... Marta
Joonas Koff ... Jaan
Egert Kadastu ... Toomas
Ann-Lisett Rebane ... Lea
Elbe Reiter ... Tiiu
Jaak Prints ... Principal's assistant
... Aleksei
... Jaan's grandfather
Leida Rammo ... Boarding house's hostess
Raimo Pass ... Officer
Erkki Tikkan ... Officer
Maria Avdjushko ... Clerk in Leningrad


Fleeing from the Russian secret police because of his controversial past, a young Estonian fencer named Endel is forced to return to his homeland, where he begins to train a group of young children in the art of fencing. The past however catches up with him and Endel has to choose between letting his students down or putting his life in danger. The movie is partially based on the real life story of an Estonian fencer Endel Nelis (1925-1993). Written by Mattias Aabmets

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on extraordinary true events. See more »


Drama | History | Sport


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Official Sites:

Official site | Official site |  »


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Release Date:

21 July 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El esgrimista  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


€1,605,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,572, 23 July 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$95,543, 11 January 2018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,458, 20 August 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Finnish candidate for the best foreign language film in 2016 Academy Awards. See more »


Children who participated in the fencing classes were actually older, the youngest were about 13 or 14 years old, not 5 or 6 as shown in the movie. See more »


Featured in 73rd Golden Globe Awards (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Good film with fine cast
18 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

"The Fencer" is a typical sports and underdog film: which make you root for the underdog. It's slightly different from many others in that there is some history for solid context: however, that also has been done so far, and the director does not experiment much with the pace of the film. Some of the landscapes are beautiful, and in my opinion they afforded the director to be much slower and absorbed in the atmosphere, like the German film "Barbara" did, but that does not happen. However, the film is a lovely watch and touches your heart because of the fine cast: a special mention should be made here for the boy (Joonas Koff) playing Jaan, who has given the most impressive performance of the film.

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