7.2/10
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The Fencer (2015)

Miekkailija (original title)
Trailer
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.

Director:

Klaus Härö

Writer:

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Based on extraordinary true events. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site | See more »

Country:

Finland | Estonia | Germany

Language:

Estonian | Russian | Armenian

Release Date:

21 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El esgrimista See more »

Filming Locations:

Haapsalu, Estonia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR1,605,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,572, 23 July 2017

Gross USA:

$95,952

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,289,014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Endel Nelis arrived in Haapsalu in 1950, not in 1952, and he started teaching in the 1st High School, not in the 2nd. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Another fine example of Estonian film under foreign direction
26 February 2016 | by BeneCumbSee all my reviews

Last year, we could all witness the fame of Estonian-Georgian film Tangerines which got both Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination, and lots of fame and praise among exacting audience. And another surprise already this year - the film in question, a Finnish/German/Estonian co-production which was nominated for Golden Globe "only"...

As I kept track of the origin and development of this film, I did not even think of it as a kind of sports film, although fencing plays here a significant role, both directly and in the background. Later I have read that several foreign viewers had previously perceived it as a sports film but were pleasantly surprised afterwards that it was no Rocky within the different kind of sports but a realistic picture of a Stalin-era town in a Soviet Estonia. The atmosphere and environment are depicted in a realistic manner, enhanced by post-WWII poverty and gray weather scenes, but there is enough space for human dimension and even some romance.

Althouh the plot is not totally smooth, the great performances and taut moments provide additional value to the film. Actors like Märt Avandi or Hendrik Toompere could be easily used abroad as well, and all children did their best (in many films, children lines seem mugged up, but not here).

All in all, a good film about surviving and making choices under tough and unpredictable circumstances, when every "hobby" or non-ideological endeavour helped to move beyond the misery around - at least temporarily.


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